Asia

Taiwan confirms first COVID-19 death

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TAIPEI: A patient in Taiwan has died from COVID-19, marking the first such death on the island since the epidemic spread from mainland China.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said during a news conference on Sunday (Feb 16) that the deceased person was a man in his 60s who had not travelled abroad recently and had diabetes and Hepatitis B.

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This was the first fatality in Taiwan, where there are 20 confirmed cases.

The number of new cases in China dropped for a third consecutive day on Sunday, as the World Health Organization warned it was "impossible" to predict how the outbreak would develop.

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Global concern remains high about the spread of the virus, which first emerged in China's central Hubei province in December, with the first death outside Asia reported in France this weekend.

The death toll jumped to 1,665 in mainland China on Sunday after 142 more people died from the virus. More than 68,000 people have now been infected – but the number of new cases of the COVID-19 strain continued to decline.

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Outside mainland China, there have been about 500 cases in more than 25 countries and territories, with five deaths reported in Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, France anRead More – Source