Coronavirus: First British tourist dies

Posted on 29 February 2020

A British man that had been on board the cruise ship, Diamond Princess, has reportedly died in Japan.

According to Al Jazeera, the Japanese Ministry of Health confirmed the death saying this was the sixth person and first non-Japanese citizen to have died from the ship from Covid-19.

The man died while in a treatment zone after being allowed off the ship. This comes after the World Health Organisation (WHO) raised the risk of coronavirus to ‘very high.’

‘The continued increase in the number of cases and the number of affected countries over the last few days are clearly of concern,’ UN chief António Guterres said in a media briefing.

‘Our epidemiologists have been monitoring these developments continuously and we have now increased our assessment of the risk of spread and the risk of impact of COVID-19 to very high at global level.’

The virus infection rate has hit 85,187 at time of reporting, with 2,924 deaths and counting.

In Hong Kong, the WHO also confirmed a ‘weak positive’ for the virus in a dog. According to CNBC, Hong Kong scientists aren’t sure if the dog is actually infected or if it picked up the virus from a contaminated surface. The dog belongs to a 60-year old woman who tested positive for the virus.

As a result, the Hong Kong government has said domesticated mammals of those who have tested positive will be quarantines and collected to stay in a ‘designated animal keeping’ for surveillance.

The impact of the virus for those on the ground and globally has been severe. Popular tourist sites in the worst hit countries, including Italy, are deserted and major festivals have had to be cancelled.

Iran’s death toll has climbed to 210, according to the BBC. On Friday 28 February Iranian officials announced that only 34 people had died. Locals are fearful that the government is not being transparent with the world as the country does not have the resources or capabilities to deal with the outbreak.

Friday prayers across Tehran and another 22 cities were cancelled. Schools and universities were also closed.

On 24 February, Japan Times reported that 12 new cases of coronavirus in the country. This brings the total number of domestic infections, including those who were on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, to 159.

The UAE has also implemented proactive measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. All flights have been suspended to and from Iran, with Tehran being an exception, according to BBC, following reported cases of the virus. Oman, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia have also suspended flights to Iran.

Bahrain has temporarily suspended all flights to and from Dubai and Sharjah in the UAE.

France has reported 19 new cases bringing their total to 57 according to Al Jazeera. Italy now has 888 cases of coronavirus and a death toll of 21.

Also read: Tokyo Olympics may be cancelled 

Image: @1_BUV/Twitter

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