China's capital Beijing reports first death from coronavirus; death toll rises to 82

WION Web Team Beijing, Beijing, China Jan 27, 2020, 03.57 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in Wuhan, China Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

China extended its Lunar New Year holidays in an attempt to contain the virus even as at least twenty-four new deaths were confirmed in Hubei taking the death toll to 84. 

Beijing on Monday reported the capital's first death due to the coronavirus taking the death toll to 82. Authorities said the victim was a  50-year-old man who had visited Wuhan earlier. The man died of respiratory failure.

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Amid reports of countries contacting the Chinese government to evacuate patients with coronavirus, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe said all nationals will be taken out of Wuhan "by every means including a chartered flight".

Also Read: China reports 2,744 confirmed Coronavirus cases

According to reports, several hundred Japanese are in Hubei province. Abe said his office is coordinating with the Chinese government for swift implementation of the plan.

The French government announced it would fly its citizens out of the virus-hit city. China has put Wuhan and adjoining areas in a lockdown with several hundred citizens from various countries who are almost trapped inside.

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Reports said Germany is also "considering evacuating" citizens from China's Wuhan. "Travellers should consider delaying or cancelling any unnecessary trips to China," German foreign minister Heiko Maas said. 

US President Trump offered "any help that is necessary" to China while asserting that the government was in close communication with China.

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"Very few cases reported in USA, but strongly on watch. We have offered China and President Xi any help that is necessary. Our experts are extraordinary!" the US president said in a tweet.

The American government has also contacted Beijing to pull its citizens from China. The Indian government has also been coordinating with the Chinese government to evacuate its citizens. Several hundred Indian students had already left Wuhan as the virus hit however at least 300 students are still in the city and its surrounding areas.

In Pics: Beyond China: Tracking deadly coronavirus outbreak

Meanwhile, China on Monday extended its Lunar New Year holidays in an attempt to contain the virus even as at least twenty-four new deaths were confirmed in Hubei taking the death toll to 84. The Chinese government has closed several public places including the Shanghai Disneyland and parts of the Great Wall of China in order to deter people from congregating in one place.

The SARS-like virus has already been detected as far as in France, the United States and Canada, including Nepal which reported the first case of the virus in South Asia on Friday.

China's National Health Commission said on Monday that there were 2,744 confirmed infections nationwide. As the virus spread, Premier Li Keqiang visited Wuhan to oversee measures undertaken to fight the virus.

World Health Organization(WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will be meeting Chinese officials to find out ways to tackle the virus as authorities have put unprecedented quarantine in several cities in China.

As the virus continued to spread with no end in sight, international oil prices plunged more than two per cent on Monday with stock markets in Tokyo, Bangkok, Mumbai falling sharply.