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Coronavirus exposes Southeast Asia's public health shortfalls

Experts say health infrastructure remains 'systematically underfinanced'

TOKYO/PHNOM PENH -- The death of a Chinese man in the Philippines from the novel coronavirus has made the public skeptical of the government's capacity to handle a public health emergency -- a sentiment echoed across Southeast Asia.

The 44-year-old died from severe pneumonia in Manila's San Lazaro Hospital on Feb. 1, making him the first victim of the novel coronavirus outside China -- and the Philippines' second confirmed case of infection. The country's health department did not announce his death until the following morning.

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