US citizen dies of coronavirus in Wuhan

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A US citizen has died from the new coronavirus at the epicentre of the epidemic in China, the US embassy said Saturday, in what appears to be the first confirmed foreign death from the outbreak.

The American, who died on Thursday, was around 60 years old and died at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, according to the United States Embassy in Beijing. Two people familiar with the matter said the person was a woman and had underlying health conditions.

“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss,” said a spokesman for the embassy. “Out of respect for the family’s privacy, we have no further comment.”

Japan also said on Saturday that one of its citizens had died in a Wuhan hospital, from what was suspected to be a case of the coronavirus.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said the United States was prepared to spend up to $100 million to assist China and support coronavirus efforts by the WHO. The US has sent nearly 17.8 tons of medical supplies to China, including masks, gowns and respirators, a State Department official said.

America began taking precautions against the spread of the deadly virus early in the outbreak. On January 17, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) announced a joint effort, which involved deploying health officials to airports.

On February 1, US officials confirmed the country’s eighth case of coronavirus. Cases have been confirmed in Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Washington state and Arizona.

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