Saudi Arabia evacuates students as first coronavirus death outside of China reported

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Residents queue as supplies of protective masks run out at a store in Manila on January 31, 2020. (AFP)
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This handout picture taken and released on February 1, 2020 by the Indonesian embassy shows Indonesian nationals waiting to check-in at Tianhe airport in Wuhan, China's Hubei province, before boarding a flight and being evacuated to Indonesia. (AFP PHOTO / Indonesian embassy)
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A man wears a face mask as he walks past a propaganda billboard encouraging patriotism during a snowfall in Beijing on Feb. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
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Updated 03 February 2020

Saudi Arabia evacuates students as first coronavirus death outside of China reported

  • Philippines: 44-year old man from Wuhan dies after hospitalization on January 25
  • Saudi students airlifted from Wuhan to be quarantined

BEIJING: The Philippines on Saturday reported the first death related to a new virus outside of China.
The Department of Health says a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan was admitted on Jan. 25 after experiencing fever, cough, and sore throat.
He developed severe pneumonia, and in his last few days, “the patient was stable and showed signs of improvement, however, the condition of the patient deteriorated within his last 24 hours resulting in his demise,” the health department said.
The man’s 38-year-old female companion, also from Wuhan, tested positive for the virus and remains in hospital isolation in Manila. She’s the second case in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has evacuated 10 students from the Chinese city of Wuhan where the new coronavirus outbreak began, state television reported on Sunday, citing a Saudi diplomat.
Chinese authorities approved the special flight that flew the students to the Kingdom, the report said. It did not say when the evacuation took place.
The 10 students remained in their dorms while in Wuhan, and the consulate reached out to them for an evacuation plan.
The students will be taken to what was described as a special quarantine area for 15 to 20 days on board of ambulances, Al-Arabiya also reported on Sunday.
They were flown on a private plane and arrived at the private terminal in the King’s international airport. Medical teams took samples of the students’ saliva for coronavirus testing while they were midflight.

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan praised Chinese authorities for their role in the evacuation.

Saudi Airlines has also announced on Sunday it was suspending flight to and from Guangzhou, China due to the outbreak.

Oman’s civil aviation authorities on Sunday also suspended flights from Muscat and China effective immediately.

Iraq’s interior ministry banned entry of all foreign visitors coming from China.

The viral outbreak has infected more than 14,500 people globally.

Cases confirmed as of Sunday morning in Beijing:
— China: 14,380 cases on the mainland. In addition, Hong Kong has 12 cases and Macao has five. Most of the 304 deaths have been in central Hubei province, where illnesses from the new type of coronavirus were first detected in December.
— Thailand: 19
— Japan: 20
— Singapore: 18
— South Korea: 15
— Taiwan: 10
— Malaysia: 8
— Australia: 7
— Germany: 8
— United States: 8
— France: 6
— Vietnam: 6
— Canada: 4
— United Arab Emirates: 5
— Russia: 2
— Italy: 2
— Britain: 2

— Philippines: 2
— Cambodia: 1
— Finland: 1
— India: 1
— Nepal: 1
— Sri Lanka: 1
— Sweden: 1
— Spain 1



British-Pakistani nurse, 36, dies of coronavirus

Updated 03 April 2020

British-Pakistani nurse, 36, dies of coronavirus

  • The mother of three, believed to have had no underlying health issues, first experienced symptoms on Mar. 13 and was later taken into intensive care
  • She showed slight signs of improvement last week but died in the early hours of Friday

LONDON: A 36-year-old NHS nurse died on Friday after being infected with coronavirus and fighting for her life in intensive care.
British-Pakistani Areema Nasreen had been placed on a ventilator at Walsall Manor Hospital in the West Midlands where she worked in the acute medical unit, the BBC reported.
The mother of three, believed to have had no underlying health issues, first experienced symptoms on Mar. 13 and was later taken into intensive care. She showed slight signs of improvement last week but died in the early hours of Friday.
Paying tribute to the nurse, Richard Beeken, chief executive of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said Nasreen “was a professional, passionate nurse who started at the trust as a housekeeper in 2003 before working hard to gain her nursing qualification in January 2019.”
“Her dedication to her role and her popularity among her colleagues is obvious to see with the outpouring of grief and concern we are seeing around the organization and on social media. We will do everything that we can in the coming days and weeks to support those that need it,” he added.
Beekan said Nasreen always aimed to make a difference and that she “will be very sadly missed.”
Nasreen’s close friend Rubi Aktar, also a nurse, posted the news of her death on Facebook and described her as “the most loveliest, genuine person you could ever meet.” She added that her friend “above and beyond for everyone she met.”
“I’m so grateful that I had the honor to call her my best friend, she saw me at my best and my worst and accepted my every flaw. I am so broken that words can’t explain. I can’t believe I will not see your smile again,” Aktar wrote.
“You made me the nurse that I am today, with your support, motivation and inspiration I am the nurse that I am today and I hope I can do you proud Areema. I love you so much and I will never forget you. You had so much to live for, I am sorry you didn’t get to see your kids grow up and I’m sorry that you didn’t get to complete your career,” Aktar added.
Dr. Samara Afzal, a doctor who knew Nasreen, described her as a devoted nurse and “always full of life.”
“I’m lost for words..I beg you all to stay at home and keep everyone safe,” Afzal tweeted.

Meanwhile, England’s chief nurse Ruth May pleaded with Britons on Friday to stay at home over the weekend, invoking the names of Nasreen and another nurse, Aimee O’Rourke, who also died of coronavirus.   

"This weekend is going to be very warm and it will be very tempting to go out and enjoy those summer rays," May said.

"But please, I ask you to remember Aimee and Areema. Please stay at home for them," she said.

"They were one of us, they were one of my profession, of the NHS family," May said.

"They were clearly remarkable women, nurses and mothers," she added in a statement.