CoViD-19: 8 Expats Recovered; 1st death in Europe..& more...

Source: China Daily, People's Daily, CGTN, SCMP, Global Times, Xinhua, iFeng, BBC, CNN, CBSNews, BusinessInsider,CNBC, JobTube, Majdi      

Firth Death in Europe

An elderly Chinese tourist hospitalised in France has died of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), making him the first fatality in Europe, French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said on Saturday.

According to French media, the 80-year-old Chinese tourist originated from China's Hubei Province, the epicenter of the virus outbreak.

He arrived in France on January 16 and was hospitalized in Paris on January 25.

Eight expats given the OK, discharged in Guangdong province

Eight expats infected with the novel coronavirus in Guangdong province have been discharged from hospital as of Friday, according to the local foreign affairs office.

A Pakistani student, under the Chinese name Wei Xing, was cured and discharged from the Guangzhou No 8 Hospital on Feb 12, the first foreign patient to have recovered from the novel coronavirus pneumonia in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong.

"The treatment for the Pakistani student is not complicated. Doctors have used some antibiotics as he had developed a cough," said Cai Weiping, head of the infectious diseases department of the Guangzhou No 8 Hospital.

Cai said foreigners are not accustomed to Chinese diets during hospitalization. "Nurses bought tailored food in supermarkets for the Pakistani student," Cai said.

Guangdong has reported 10 confirmed cases of foreign patients as of Friday.

67 More Infected On Cruise Ship

As of Saturday evening, 67 more passengers on board the Japanese cruise ship, Diamond Princess, were confirmed with COVID19 infection, taking the total infected number to 285 on the ship.

Highways Toll Free Till Epidemic Ends

Ministry of Transport announced on Saturday the exemption of highway toll from Monday till the COVID19 epidemic ends.

Another Drug Under Trials

Hydroxychloroquine, an antivirus drug used against malaria, potentially useful to fight COVID19, is under clinical trials at 9 medical institutions, according to Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding Co, the sole manufacturer of the drug with a market share of 76%.

Banknotes to be Quarantined

Banknotes quarantine! People's Bank of China is asking banks and institutions to disinfect banknotes. Those from areas hit by COVID19 will be disinfected by ultraviolet rays or high temperatures and quarantined for more than 14 days before re-circulation.

Toyota Resumes Next Week

Toyota is set to begin reopening manufacturing plants in China, the company announced Saturday.

"Starting the week of February 17, we will begin a step-by-step process to gradually resume business operations at our manufacturing plants in China," the car manufacturer said in a statement. 

Honda has already restarted production at several plants in China, and plans to resume operations in several more beginning the week of February 17 as well. Honda also stated, "Wuhan factories will return to work on February 21, and are expected to resume production the week of February 24.

Nissan hopes to resume production next week as well.

US County Declares Emergency 

San Diego County in California has declared a state of "local emergency" and a "public health emergency" due to the coronavirus. They will remain in effect for seven days. 

Local officials, however, emphasized the declarations do not signify an increase in risk to the public, and said they were made "out of an abundance of caution."

Thailand First Infection of Medical Worker

Thailand's Public Health department Saturday said a medical worker was infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), making it the first confirmed case of infection among medical staff.

To date, 34 people have been infected in Thailand, and 14 of them have recovered after treatment.

8 of 9 UK Patients, Discharged

All but one of the nine UK patients that tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have now been discharged from hospital after testing negative twice, announced National Health Service England (NHS England) on Saturday.

According to NHS England and NHS Improvement, the last of the guests quarantined at Arrowe Park on Merseyside after returning from China have now left the hospital.

25,633 Medics Supporting Hubei

China has sent 217 medical rescue groups of 25,633 members to Central China's Hubei Province to combat COVID19, surpassing the number of those to support Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, which killed more than 80,000 people: official

98-year-old Patient, Recovered

A 98-year-old novel coronavirus patient from central China's Henan Province at Nanyang City Center Hospital has recovered. The patient is now the oldest person in China to have recovered from the virus.

The patient, surname Zhu, was admitted to hospital after getting a fever. On February 2, Zhu's viral nucleic acid test result came back positive, and he was then formally diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

After treatment, the patient's temperature returned to normal on February 8. Other symptoms, including shortness of breath, also got better. On February 12 and 13, Zhu took two more viral nucleic acid tests, and both results came back negative.

CT scan results on Friday showed obvious recovery of Zhu's lower lung infection. After Nanyang City's health experts consultation, Zhu was deemed recovered and has been transferred to a general ward. 

China Refunded $4.5 Billion in Tickets

Chinese officials disclosed Saturday that travel during the latest Lunar New Year period was a fraction of previous years, as people stayed home and took advantage of refund policies that authorities enacted in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.

Chinas aviation authority said since it first announced a ticket refund policy in late January, domestic and foreign airlines have processed 20 million tickets worth more than 20 billion yuan ($2.9 billion). The number of flights has been about a quarter of what it was last year, a representative said.

Chinas railway authority said rail trips during the holiday travel period so far have been one-seventh of the 280 million it had anticipated, and that it has processed 11.5 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in ticket refunds.

Virus-Specific Insurance, Banned

Chinas deputy chair of the banking and insurance regulator, Liang Tao, said Saturday at a press conference that there are already more than 400 insurance products that can cover risks related to the new coronavirus pneumonia.

Due to the lack of pricing data, and for the protection against violation of consumer rights, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission prohibits companies from issuing such single-liability products, Liang said, according to a CNBC translation of his Mandarin-language remarks.

Facebook Cancels Global Marketing Summit

After the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona 2020 conference, Coronavirus has derailed Facebook's Global Marketing Summit in San Francisco.

According to a report in The San Francisco Chronicle, the event was scheduled from March 9-12 here, with over 5,000 participants expected from across the globe.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we canceled our Global Marketing Summit due to evolving public health risks related to coronavirus," a spokesperson was quoted as saying in the report late Friday.

Suspected Case in Pakistan

The first suspected case of the new strain of coronavirus was reported in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, involving a person who had recently returned from China the epicentre of the outbreak.

The person, who hails from Gilgit-Baltistan in PakistanKashmir , has been put under observation at the Ayub Medical Hospital (AMH) in Abbottabad.

No confirmed case of coronavirus has been reported in Pakistan, though suspected cases have been reported in the past.

Exclusive CoViD Reporting for Expats in Zhejiang