Philippines reports 1st coronavirus death outside of China

BEIJING (AP) - The Philippines has reported the first death related to a new virus outside of China.

The Department of Health says a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan was admitted on Jan. 25 after experiencing fever, cough, and sore throat.

He developed severe pneumonia, and in his last few days, the health department says “the patient was stable and showed signs of improvement, however, the condition of the patient deteriorated within his last 24 hours resulting in his demise."

The man’s 38-year-old female companion, also from Wuhan, tested positive for the virus and remains in hospital isolation in Manila.

She’s the second case in the Philippines.

China’s death toll grows

China’s death toll from the virus has increased to 304 amid warnings from the World Health Organization that other countries need to be prepared in the event the disease spreads among their populations.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported six officials in the city of Huanggang, neighboring the epicenter of Wuhan in Hubei province, have been fired over “poor performance" in handling the outbreak.

It cited the mayor as saying the city’s capabilities to treat the patients remained inadequate and there is a severe shortage in medical supplies such as protective suits and medical masks.

Despite imposing drastic travel restrictions at home, China has chafed at those imposed by foreign governments.

Apple temporarily closes stores in China amid virus outbreak

Apple is temporarily closing its 42 stores in mainland China, one of its largest markets, as the new virus spreads rapidly.

The iPhone maker said in a statement it was closing stores, corporate offices and contact centers in China until Feb. 9 “out of an abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts."

China is the company’s third biggest market in terms of sales behind the United States and Europe and it is also where most iPhones and other devices are made.

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