Saudi Arabia evacuates students as first coronavirus death outside of China reported

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Residents queue as supplies of protective masks run out at a store in Manila on January 31, 2020. (AFP)
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This handout picture taken and released on February 1, 2020 by the Indonesian embassy shows Indonesian nationals waiting to check-in at Tianhe airport in Wuhan, China's Hubei province, before boarding a flight and being evacuated to Indonesia. (AFP PHOTO / Indonesian embassy)
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A man wears a face mask as he walks past a propaganda billboard encouraging patriotism during a snowfall in Beijing on Feb. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
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Updated 03 February 2020

Saudi Arabia evacuates students as first coronavirus death outside of China reported

  • Philippines: 44-year old man from Wuhan dies after hospitalization on January 25
  • Saudi students airlifted from Wuhan to be quarantined

BEIJING: The Philippines on Saturday reported the first death related to a new virus outside of China.
The Department of Health says a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan was admitted on Jan. 25 after experiencing fever, cough, and sore throat.
He developed severe pneumonia, and in his last few days, “the patient was stable and showed signs of improvement, however, the condition of the patient deteriorated within his last 24 hours resulting in his demise,” the health department said.
The man’s 38-year-old female companion, also from Wuhan, tested positive for the virus and remains in hospital isolation in Manila. She’s the second case in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has evacuated 10 students from the Chinese city of Wuhan where the new coronavirus outbreak began, state television reported on Sunday, citing a Saudi diplomat.
Chinese authorities approved the special flight that flew the students to the Kingdom, the report said. It did not say when the evacuation took place.
The 10 students remained in their dorms while in Wuhan, and the consulate reached out to them for an evacuation plan.
The students will be taken to what was described as a special quarantine area for 15 to 20 days on board of ambulances, Al-Arabiya also reported on Sunday.
They were flown on a private plane and arrived at the private terminal in the King’s international airport. Medical teams took samples of the students’ saliva for coronavirus testing while they were midflight.

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan praised Chinese authorities for their role in the evacuation.

Saudi Airlines has also announced on Sunday it was suspending flight to and from Guangzhou, China due to the outbreak.

Oman’s civil aviation authorities on Sunday also suspended flights from Muscat and China effective immediately.

Iraq’s interior ministry banned entry of all foreign visitors coming from China.

The viral outbreak has infected more than 14,500 people globally.

Cases confirmed as of Sunday morning in Beijing:
— China: 14,380 cases on the mainland. In addition, Hong Kong has 12 cases and Macao has five. Most of the 304 deaths have been in central Hubei province, where illnesses from the new type of coronavirus were first detected in December.
— Thailand: 19
— Japan: 20
— Singapore: 18
— South Korea: 15
— Taiwan: 10
— Malaysia: 8
— Australia: 7
— Germany: 8
— United States: 8
— France: 6
— Vietnam: 6
— Canada: 4
— United Arab Emirates: 5
— Russia: 2
— Italy: 2
— Britain: 2

— Philippines: 2
— Cambodia: 1
— Finland: 1
— India: 1
— Nepal: 1
— Sri Lanka: 1
— Sweden: 1
— Spain 1


Suicide bomber kills 18 in Afghan capital

Updated 24 October 2020

Suicide bomber kills 18 in Afghan capital

  • There has been an upsurge in violence between Taliban and Afghan forces in the country
  • The US signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February, opening up a path toward withdrawing American troops from the conflict

KABUL: A suicide bomber struck near an education centre in the Afghan capital on Saturday, killing at least 18 people in the latest attack to rock the conflict-wracked country.
Violence on the ground has spiked in recent weeks despite the Taliban and the Afghan government holding peace talks in Qatar to end the country's grinding war.
The suicide attack, which also wounded 57, happened late afternoon at the centre, which offers training and courses for students in higher education in a western district of Kabul.
"A suicide bomber wanted to enter the education centre," Tareq Arian, spokesman for the interior ministry, said in a statement.
"But he was identified by the centre's guards after which he detonated his explosives in an alley."
He said the attack had left at least 18 people dead and 57 wounded.
"I was standing about 100 metres from the centre when a big blast knocked me down," said local resident Ali Reza, who had gone to hospital with his cousin who was wounded in the blast.
"Dust and smoke was all around me. All those killed and wounded were students who wanted to enter the centre."
Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack.
Residents in several districts of western Kabul belong to the minority Shiite Hazara community, often targeted by Daesh militants. 
In the past, extremists have targeted several education centres and other facilities in the area.
In May, a group of gunmen launched a brazen daylight attack on a hospital in west Kabul that left several mothers dead. The gunmen were shot dead after hours of fighting with security forces.