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Coronavirus death in Hong Kong, as China admits 'shortcomings'

Coronavirus death in Hong Kong, as China admits 'shortcomings'

Death announced after China records biggest single-day increase in fatalities since outbreak began late last year.




Hong Kong reported its first death from the coronavirus on Tuesday - only the second outside China - as the death toll from the outbreak rose to at least 425 and China admitted "shortcomings and difficulties" in its response to the flu-like infection.
The Hong Kong victim was a 39-year-old man from Wuhan, where the virus first originated, who had underlying health problems, the authorities said. It was the second death recorded outside China - the first was in the Philippines on Sunday.
Meanwhile, China's National Health Commission reported 64 new fatalities as of midnight on Monday - the biggest daily increase since the virus was first detected late last year. Wuhan, and the surrounding province of Hubei, have been effectively sealed off from the rest of the country for more than a week.
There are now 20,438 people confirmed to have the infection.

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Late on Monday, the Standing Committee of the Politburo - the country's top leadership - met in Beijing and acknowledged "shortcomings and difficulties" in China's response to the outbreak.
"This very rare sort of language to hear," Al Jazeera's Adrian Brown said from Hong Kong, where he is reporting from the border. "This was the senior leadership of the party essentially admitting they had failed the people. They said officials who had made mistakes would be punished. And they said China would have to improve the way it responded to this sort of national emergency in the future."   
Other countries have rushed to evacuate their citizens from Hubei and its capital city, Wuhan, while many have also imposed extraordinary travel restrictions on travellers to and from China.
More than 150 cases have been reported in two dozen other countries, with the United States reporting the second case of human-to-human transmission on Monday.

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