Hong Kong confirmed its first death from the coronavirus on February 4.
A 39-year-old man who had visited Wuhan, China, died at Hong Kong’s Princess Margaret Hospital. The man, who had been to Wuhan on January 21 and returned to Hong Kong on a high-speed train on January 31, had unspecified underlying health issues, according to the Centre for Health Protection.
His death is only the second attributed to the new virus outside mainland China. On February 2, a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan died in the Philippines.
Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority said, “A large number of staff members are absent from duty,” forcing it to curtail some services in the hospital, including some emergency services.
Hong Kong has been wracked by months of often-violent protests calling for greater freedom from China that have caused the financial hub’s economy to slump. The virus outbreak threatens to do further damage.