American with coronavirus died in Wuhan, China, embassy says

A U.S. citizen diagnosed with novel coronavirus has died in China in what appears to be the first death of an American from the virus that has sickened tens of thousands of people in China and killed more than 700, a U.S. embassy spokesperson said.

“We can confirm a 60-year-old U.S. citizen diagnosed with coronavirus died at Jinyintian Hospital in Wuhan, China on Feb. 6,” a spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said.

“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss. Out of the respect for the family’s privacy, we have no further comment,” the spokesperson said.

The New York Times first reported the death of the American in Wuhan.

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China’s national health commission said that as of Saturday morning local time, there had been 722 deaths from the virus in the mainland.

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Two people have died elsewhere — a person who had the coronavirus in the Philippines and a person in Hong Kong, health officials said, bringing global deaths to at least 724.

In this Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, photo, a nurse takes notes in the isolation ward for 2019-nCoV patients at a hospital in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province.Chinatopix via AP

More than 34,500 cases have been confirmed in mainland China as of Saturday morning, China’s national health commission said.

Wuhan and Hubei Province, where the city is located, is at the center of the coronavirus outbreak. The virus has been detected in more than 20 other countries, including in the U.S.

Twelve people in the U.S. have been confirmed to have the virus, but some of them have been released from the hospital, including a Chicago couple that is now home.

Also Saturday, Japan’s foreign ministry said on its website that a Japanese citizen in his 60s who had been hospitalized with severe pneumonia had died at a medical facility in Wuhan.

Japan’s foreign ministry said that according to the Chinese facility where the Japanese citizen was, he was “highly suspected” of having the novel coronavirus but because of the difficulty confirming that, the man’s death was being classified as “viral pneumonia.”

Japan’s government said it sends its prayers to the victim and condolences to his family.