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Hong Kong reports first coronavirus death as hospital workers strike

Posted at 10:09 AM, Feb 04, 2020

Hong Kong hospitals are cutting services as thousands of medical workers strike for a second day to demand that the border with mainland China be shut completely to ward off the novel coronavirus that caused its first death in the territory.

All but two of Hong Kong's land and sea crossings with the mainland were closed, but four locally transmitted cases have been reported, indicating community transmission.

The territory reported its first death and the second fatality outside China, which has reported 425 deaths and more than 20,000 cases of the new coronavirus.

Amid the first virus death in Hong Kong, thousands of public sector health care workers went on strike to demand that the Hong Kong close the border with mainland China to prevent the spread of the virus.

Fortune reports that 7,000 workers — about 10 percent of the industry's workforce — went on strike on Tuesday.

On the mainland, thousands of treatment beds were being placed in tight rows in public venues hastily transformed into hospitals as patients overwhelm medical facilities in the hardest-hit areas.