Updated Feb 4, 2020 - Health

Hong Kong reports first coronavirus death as hospital workers strike

Doctors register on Monday for the medical workers strike in support of closing the border with mainland China. Photo: Aidan Marzo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong reported its first death from the novel coronavirus on Tuesday morning local time.

Why it matters: The second reported death outside of mainland China came as over 2,400 Hong Kong medical workers went on strike to demand authorities fully close the border with mainland China to stop the spread of the virus, per the South China Morning Post.

The big picture: A health authority spokesperson confirmed to Axios that the 39-year-old man died in Hong Kong's Princess Margaret Hospital after being infected with novel coronavirus.

  • A Hong Kong Hospital Authority spokesperson said the patient was a Hong Kong resident who traveled to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak in mainland China, on Jan. 21. He returned to the city two days later, AFP reports.
  • A 44-year-old man who was a Wuhan resident but died in the Philippines on Saturday was the first person to have been killed by symptoms related to the virus outside of China.

Go deeper: The global economic threat of the coronavirus

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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