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Hong Kong medical workers widen strike to demand border closure

City reports first coronavirus death, as 9,000 hospital staffers join walkout

Medical workers in Hong Kong hold a strike outside the Hospital Authority on Feb. 4 as they demand for the government to completely close off its border with mainland China to reduce the coronavirus from spreading.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- As many as 9,000 doctors, nurses and public hospital employees, including those at emergency services units, in Hong Kong went on strike on Tuesday, demanding the government seal all borders with mainland China to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the city, which reported its first fatality from the disease.

A 39-year-old man diagnosed positive for the coronavirus in Hong Kong died, marking the first casualty in the city, a spokesperson at the Hong Kong Hospital Authority told the Nikkei Asian Review on Tuesday morning. The patient visited Wuhan -- in China's central Hubei Province, where the virus originated -- in late January and lived with his mother after returning to Hong Kong. His 72-year-old mother has also been diagnosed positive for the coronavirus.

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