New York reports first confirmed coronavirus patient as US sees 2nd COVID-19 death

The WHO has said that the COVID-19 outbreak has reached the "highest level" of risk at the global level, can go in any direction

A woman in her late 30s became the first confirmed case of the fatal coronavirus, known as COVID-19, to be reported in New York City. The woman, whose name was not disclosed by authorities, had recently travelled to Iran, now placed under Level 4 travel restriction by the US.

The positive confirmation was given by Wadsworth Lab, based in Albany, New York. The test reports have been sent to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where they would be reviewed. The US has recorded 76 confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far, most of them are passengers who returned from cruise ships and those who travelled to China, the epicenter of the coronavirus infection.

Authorities were expecting coronavirus case in the state

In a statement issued late on Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said it was the first case of the fatal virus in the state. The woman is a resident of Manhattan and has been kept under isolation at her residence. "The patient, a woman in her late thirties, contracted the virus while traveling abroad in Iran, and is currently isolated in her home. The patient has respiratory symptoms. But is not in serious condition and has been in a controlled situation since arriving to New York," said the official.

A thermal screening being carried out on the passengers arriving from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, at the IGI airport in New Delhi on Feb 2, 2020. National carrier Air India's second special flight to Wuhan, landed at the IGI airport here on Sunday with 323 Indian and seven Maldivian citizens onboard. (Photo: IANS) IANS

Even though it was the first positive case of the fatal virus, the authorities were not surprised. Cuomo said: "There is no cause for surprise — this was expected. As I said from the beginning, it was a matter of when, not if there would be a positive case of novel coronavirus in New York."

Urging residents to not panic, Cuomo said the general risk of the virus remains low in New York. "There is no reason for undue anxiety — the general risk remains low in New York. We are diligently managing this situation and will continue to provide information as it becomes available," he added.

Coronavirus claims second US citizen

A 70-year-old man became the second person in the US to die of coronavirus, spreading rapidly across the globe. Washington-based health authorities disclosed that the deceased was hospitalized at EvergreenHealth, a facility based in Kirkland. It was the same hospital that reported the first death in US due to the virus.

Representational Picture Xinhua/IANS

On Saturday, the World Health Organization said the COVID-19 outbreak has reached the "highest level" of risk at the global level. "This thing can go in any direction. We're not undermining the risk, it's there. That's why today we said the global risk is very high. We increased it from high to very high," said WHO's Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

According to the latest data, more than 3,000 people have died globally due to coronavirus. Most of the deaths have been reported from China, where the virus originated in Wuhan. More than 88,000 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in various countries.

Related topics : Coronavirus