February 8, 2020 / 4:57 AM / 21 days ago

Japanese man hospitalized with pneumonia in Wuhan dies, coronavirus suspected

TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese man hospitalized with pneumonia in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak, has died, Japan’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The man in his sixties was suspected of having been infected with the coronavirus but due to difficulties in diagnosing the disease the cause of death was given as viral pneumonia, the foreign ministry said citing Chinese medical authorities.

The man is potentially the first Japanese to have died of the disease, as a foreign ministry official said the government does not know of any Japanese that have died from the coronavirus epidemic, which has killed more than 700 people in mainland China and infected over 34,000.

The death in Wuhan came as the number of passengers infected with the virus from a cruise liner quarantined in Japanese port of Yokohama jumped to 64 on Saturday.

The virus has spread around the world, with 320 cases now in 27 countries and regions outside mainland China, a Reuters tally of official statements showed.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka and Sam Nussey; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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