Health and Science

US embassy says an American diagnosed with the new coronavirus died in Wuhan, China

Key Points
  • A U.S. citizen diagnosed with the new coronavirus died in Wuhan, China on Thursday, the U.S. embassy said in a statement.
  • It is the first known American death in an outbreak of a new coronavirus.
  • Wuhan is the center of the outbreak and the capital of Hubei province, where most deaths and confirmed cases are located.

A U.S. citizen diagnosed with the new coronavirus died in Wuhan, China on Thursday, the U.S. embassy said in a statement.

"We can confirm a 60-year old U.S. citizen diagnosed with coronavirus died at Jinyintian Hospital in Wuhan, China on February 6. We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss. Out of the respect for the family's privacy, we have no further comment," the embassy said.

It is the first known American death in an outbreak of a new coronavirus. Wuhan is the center of the outbreak and the capital of Hubei province, where most deaths and confirmed cases are located.

Earlier Saturday, China's National Health Commission said the virus has killed more than 700 people and infected over 34,000. Of those, 699 deaths and nearly 25,000 confirmed cases occurred in Hubei, according to the province's figures. Hubei said 545 people in Wuhan have died in the outbreak as of the end of Friday.

In January, the World Health Organization declared the fast-spreading virus a global health emergency. The designation enables the international agency to mobilize financial and political support to contain the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued mandatory quarantine orders for the people it evacuated from Wuhan. It was the first time the agency had issued such orders in 50 years.

Washington has continued to evacuate Americans from Wuhan and quarantining them at military bases across the U.S., including: March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, California; Camp Ashland in Nebraska; Travis Air Force Base in California; Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego; and Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

The Trump administration also announced that it would commit up to $100 million in existing funds to help the WHO, China and other infected countries fight the coronavirus outbreak.

The WHO has been asking member countries for donations to help with response efforts after tapping $9 million from its contingency fund for emergencies earlier this week.

When asked about contributing additional funds, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar that it was "premature" to discuss that.

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— CNBC's Berkeley Lovelace Jr. and William Feuer contributed to this report.