First American and Japanese coronavirus patients die in Wuhan

US and Japan show concern as global coronavirus epidemic continues to worsen

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2019-nCoV has claimed 724 lives around the world. 

2019-nCoV has claimed 724 lives around the world.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. and Japan confirmed the first coronavirus deaths of their citizens Saturday (Feb. 8) as the governments of both countries sent condolences to the victims' families while urging communities to remain calm and collected.

As confirmed by officials from the U.S. embassy in Beijing, an American has passed away in the Chinese city of Wuhan, marking the first known death of a U.S. citizen from the global viral outbreak. The officials refused to disclose details out of respect for the patient's family, but said it was a 60-year-old woman who died Thursday (Feb. 6) at a hospital in Wuhan.

The news came only hours after the evacuation of hundreds of American citizens from Wuhan on Friday (Feb. 7). All of the evacuees have been placed under quarantine in various parts of the country.

According to the Liberty Times, U.S. President Donald Trump contacted Chinese Secretary General Xi Jinping (習近平) regarding the matter. Xi stressed that the Chinese government is implementing strict preventive measures across the country while Trump promised to continue collaborations with China to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

On Saturday, NHK reported that a Japanese citizen also passed away in Wuhan despite having been treated for several days. Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the patient was a man in his early 60s and was showing signs of fever when he arrived at the hospital.

The Japanese officials said that they have reached out to the family of the man and will provide further assistance. They also expressed their concern that China might not have the capacity to treat patients with more severe symptoms due to the enormous number of infections, reported CNA.