Hong Kong has witnessed the death of a patient infected with the deadly coronavirus.
According to reports, the 39-year-old man died in hospital Tuesday morning, having had an underlying illness and had visited the city of Wuhan at the center of the outbreak in January.
His death becomes the second coronavirus fatality outside mainland China after a 44-year-old man died in the Philippines last week.
There have been fresh demands for Hong Kong to shut the border with mainland China, with hundreds of medical workers already on strike.
According to the hospital authority, some emergency services had been ‘severely’ affected by the strike.
The strikes have added pressure on the city’s beleaguered public hospital network, which was already struggling to cope with staff shortages.
Lam has said sealing the entire border would be inappropriate, impractical, and discriminatory.
Hong Kong had suffered a similar outbreak in 2003 with the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which also emerged from mainland China and killed nearly 300 people in the city.
Presently, they have 15 confirmed cases of the newly discovered coronavirus, including one that was transmitted locally.
The Hong Kong resident who died on Tuesday had been kept in an isolation ward at the city’s Princess Margaret Hospital after the coronavirus was confirmed last week.
According to the authorities, he had visited Wuhan in January, while the 72-year-old mother, who contracted the virus locally and had no travel history, was staying at home during the incubation period.