Coronavirus claims first life in Hong Kong; residents queue up for face masks amid supply shortage

  • A 39-year old man, who had recently traveled to Wuhan, died of the deadly novel coronavirus in Hong Kong, early Tuesday morning

  • Thousands of Hong Kong residents are queuing up outside pharmacies in order to buy face masks

  • Due to a shortage in supply, price of face masks has soared

Hong Kong reported its first fatality, due to the deadly novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection on Tuesday, February 4. This comes as the second fatality reported outside mainland China, the first being confirmed by the Philippines. With 15 cases reported in Hong Kong, enormous queues were reported outside pharmacies, as the city grapples through supply shortage.

First coronavirus fatality in Hong Kong

The 39-year-old patient, died of sudden heart failure, at Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung, on Tuesday morning. Among the 15 cases reported in Hong Kong, he was the 13th confirmed case of novel coronavirus infection. The deceased had travelled to Chinese city Wuhan, the capital of its Hubei province, that is the epicentre of the virus outbreak, reporting the majority of cases and fatalities.

He had travelled to the city on January 21 and returned two days later, when the city was placed under complete lock-down with unprecedented travel restrictions. He developed a fever on December 31 and was immediately admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei, the same day, South China Morning Post reported. The man was later shifted to an isolation ward at Princess Margaret Hospital.

Fatality representational image
Image for representational purpose only

According to information, earlier disclosed by the Center for Health Protection, the patient suffered from a number of health issues. He died of sudden heart failure on Tuesday morning. According to reports, the man lived with his 72-year-old mother, who has also tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

His mother is Hong Kong's 15th case, with no recent travel history in China and contracted the virus, from her son. 425 out of the 427 deaths have been reported in mainland China. On February 1, the Philippines reported the first death outside the mainland, in which a 44-year-old Chinese national died of the deadly disease.

Enormous queues to buy high-priced face masks

As the fear of the deadly disease spreads, thousands of Hong Kong residents are queuing up outside pharmacies in order to buy face masks. Due to a shortage in supply, price of face masks has soared, with a pack of 50 masks been sold at HK$380 ($49), Hong Kong Free Press reported.

Related topics : Coronavirus