European death for the first time since the new coronation
The first European to be infected with the new coronavirus died last Friday night in Italy as the number of new infections fell in China but nearly doubled in South Korea.
Adrian Trevisan, a 78-year-old retired builder, has died in Venice after ten days in hospital for an illness other than Covid-19, according to Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza. After his hospitalization he was diagnosed positive for the coronavirus.
The announcement of his death was made in a climate of panic in Italy, as fifteen patients were registered there, bringing to 20 the total number in the country, which is the one most affected in Europe. Authorities closed public spaces in eleven cities in northern Italy. Asked by Italian journalists in Brussels, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was reassured that Italy was "taking very high precautions".
The first person to die in Europe after being hit by the epidemic, which struck Wuhan (central China) in December, was a Chinese tourist from Hubei Province, whose capital is Wuhan. The 80-year-old arrived in France on January 23rd and passed away on February 14th in Paris. This death was then "the first outside Asia, the first in Europe", as underlined by the French Minister of Health Anne Bouzen.
Fears seem to be growing in Europe, among other things, because the World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned about the difficulty of curbing the spread of the epidemic. The WHO chief, Tentros Antanom Gebregesus, sounded the alarm in Geneva on Friday: "At the moment we are talking, we are still in a phase where it is possible to reduce the epidemic." But "the window of opportunity is closing," he warned, lamenting the lack of international financial support. Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during Friday, with the first confirmed case in Lebanon and Israel and two more deaths in Iran (four in all).
South Korea mourned a second death today, and the number of cases jumped for the second day in a row, rising to 346 with 142 new cases reported, according to a report released this morning by South Korean health authorities. Among the 142 new cases, 92 are linked to a hospital in Cheongdu, in the south of the country, where a religious ceremony was held three weeks ago by a Christian sect, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In all, more than 150 members of this sect have been infected. The first of these was a 61-year-old woman who was unaware that she had contracted viral pneumonia and spread the virus, mainly by assisting in a religious ceremony.
Delay in China
In contrast to mainland China, the country that has been hit hardest by viral pneumonia, it is time to slow down. Health authorities announced this morning 109 new deaths, compared to 118 the previous day, while the total number of deaths in the country reaches 2.345. The daily number of new cases of coronavirus in China is falling even stronger, with 397 new cases compared to almost 900 yesterday, Friday. The decline comes after Hubei officials were instructed to revise some of the figures announced in recent days to dispel "doubts" about the data on the course of the disease. This is the last modification of the counting method to date, since many others had been done before, a fact that somewhat complicates the monitoring of the epidemic.
Officially, the number of infections in all of mainland China (except Hong Kong and Macao) is more than 76.000. In addition to mainland China and the two cases in Europe, 13 deaths have been reported: 4 in Iran, 2 in Hong Kong, 2 in South Korea, 2 on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan and one man in three other Asian countries (Japan, Philippines and Taiwan). Just over 1.300 infections have been reported worldwide outside of mainland China.