Philippines coronavirus death becomes first outside China as overall death toll rises above 300

The outbreak has killed hundreds in China Credit: Chinatopix/AP

A man in the Philippines has become the first person outside China to die from the coronavirus outbreak.

The 44-year-old man from Wuhan, the province where the outbreak is believed to have originated, was admitted to a Manila hospital on January 25 with a fever, cough and a sore throat, the Philippine Department of Health said in a statement.

He developed severe pneumonia but “showed signs of improvement” in the days before his death, and the 38-year-old woman he was with has tested positive for the virus and remains in hospital isolation.

The death follows the World Health Organisation (WHO) calling on governments to prepare for “domestic outbreak control” if the virus spreads in their countries.

The overall death toll has risen to 305 - including the death in the Philippines - and the number of confirmed cases of infection increased to 14,628.

In the UK, Public Health England said on Sunday that a total of 266 UK tests have been concluded, of which 264 have been confirmed negative and two positive.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has confirmed more Brits will return to the UK on Sunday. Credit: PA

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab meanwhile confirmed more British nationals will arrive back in the UK from China on Sunday.

He told Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday: "It's correct that there is a further French flight that is expected back in Europe today and that will carry some UK nationals."

Mr Raab did not confirm the number of people being brought back but said they will go into quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital in Merseyside, where 83 British nationals who arrived from Wuhan on Friday are being kept.

Mr Raab said: "They will go to the Arrowe Park facility and all of the protections, the support during the 14-day period will be put in place.

"So they will be treated very well, and of course the reason we need to do that is on the one hand we want to get the UK nationals that want to leave China out, on the other hand we need to make sure we control and prevent the spread of the coronavirus because of the implications that that would have."

Beijing has criticised Washington’s order barring entry to the US to most foreigners who visited China in the past two weeks.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced similar measures on Saturday, following Japan and Singapore.

Meanwhile, South Korea and India flew hundreds of their citizens out of Wuhan, the city at the centre of an area where some 50 million people are prevented from leaving in a sweeping anti-virus effort.

The evacuees went into a two-week quarantine. Indonesia also sent a plane.

The number of confirmed cases in China has surpassed the number in the 2002-03 outbreak of Sars (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

A South Korean Imperial guard wearing a face mask guards near notice warning about a new coronavirus in front of the Bosingak pavilion in Seoul. Credit: AP

The virus’s rapid spread in two months prompted the WHO to declare it a global emergency on Thursday.

That declaration “flipped the switch” from a cautious attitude earlier to recommending governments prepare for the possibility the virus might spread, said WHO’s representative in Beijing, Gauden Galea.

Most cases reported so far have been people who visited China or their family members.

The agency acted out of concern for poorer countries that might not be equipped to respond, said Mr Galea. Such a declaration calls for a co-ordinated international response and can bring more money and resources.

The WHO said it was especially concerned that some cases abroad involved human-to-human transmission.