Second Patient Succumbs to New Coronavirus in Hong Kong

By Frank Fang
Frank Fang
Frank Fang
Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers US, China, and Taiwan news. He holds a master's degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.
February 19, 2020Updated: February 19, 2020

A 70-year-old man in Hong Kong has died of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday morning, bringing the total number of COVID-19-linked deaths in the city to two.

The man was hospitalized at the Princess Margaret Hospital on Feb. 12 after he fell at home, Hong Kong media RTHK reported. He was then tested positive for the virus. He had already been suffering from a cough and shortness of breath for more than 10 days.

hong kong coronavirus death
A medical worker wearing protective gear walks outside Princess Margaret Hospital in Hong Kong on Feb. 4, 2020. (Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images)

The man had a recent travel history to China. He took a one-day trip to the mainland on Jan. 22 via Lok Ma Chau, one of the major border crossing points between Hong Kong and China. The particular destinations during his trip are not known.

Hong Kong media HK01 reported that the man lied about his trip to China when he was first hospitalized, claiming that he had not left Hong Kong recently. However, hospital authorities were later able to confirm his trip to China with local immigration officials.

The man lived by himself in Kwai Chung, a town in Hong Kong’s New Territories.

Hong Kong currently has 62 known cases of coronavirus, with the dead man being the 55th confirmed case.

His death is the sixth COVID-19-related death outside of mainland China.

There has been one death reported each in France, Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan.

The first death in Hong Kong involved a 39-year-old man who died on Feb. 4 after his heart stopped beating. He traveled to Wuhan on a high-speed train on Jan. 21 and returned to Hong Kong two days later. The man started having muscle pain and developed a fever on Jan. 29 and was subsequently hospitalized, where he tested positive on Jan. 31. He was the 13th confirmed case of COVID-19 in Hong Kong.

South Korea
People leave after buying face masks at a pharmacy at Myeongdong shopping district in Seoul, South Korea, on Jan. 31, 2020. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Nearby country South Korea on Wednesday reported a jump of almost 50 percent in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the Centers for Disease Control in the country (KCDC) reporting 15 new cases, bringing the national total from 31 to 46.

Eleven of the 15 cases came in contact with the country’s 31st confirmed case—a South Korean woman in her 60s who tested positive on Feb. 18, according to the KCDC.

Among the 15 cases was an 11-year-old South Korean girl, who is the daughter of the country’s 20th case, a 41-year-old Korean woman who tested positive on Feb. 5.