International desk – The United States and Australia have reported the first deaths from novel coronavirus as the global death toll from the pathogen nears almost 3,000.
The first US death was reported in the state of Washington while the Australian death was reported in the Western Australia state, according to international media.
President Donald Trump spoke to reporters about the latest coronavirus developments, including the death of a Washington state patient, according to CNN.
US officials said the patient was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions.
Trump said more cases were “likely” but added that the country was prepared for any circumstance.
The World Health Organization has raised health alert to the highest level. It says the outbreak has reached the “highest level” of risk for the world. The WHO director-general warned that it can go in “any direction.”
In Australia, a 78-year old man repatriated from a cruise ship Diamond Princes died, according to Western Australi state’s chief health officer Andrew Robertson. He said the man’s wife was also infected, but her condition is stable.
A total of 27 persons contacted the new virus in Australia.
Thailand, which has had 42 cases of the virus, said a 35-year-old man who died was also suffering from dengue fever.
More than 85,000 coronavirus cases have been reported in 57 countries around the world and almost 3,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
The vast majority of infections and deaths are in China, where the virus emerged in December.