Indonesia marks first virus death after British tourist dies in Bali

Tourists wearing face masks at the departure gate at Bali airport. (AP pic)

JAKARTA: A British woman has died in Bali from coronavirus, authorities said Wednesday, marking Indonesia’s first confirmed death from the rapidly spreading illness.

The 53-year-old died early Wednesday in a hospital on the Indonesian holiday island, but it was unclear if she contracted the virus before or after arriving in Bali late last month, local officials said.

She was taken to hospital last week.

Indonesian health authorities said Wednesday the woman had serious health problems.

“The patient had severe illnesses including diabetes, hypertension, hyperthyroid and lung disease,” Achmad Yurianto, a spokesman for the government’s virus response team, told reporters in Jakarta.

The British embassy in Jakarta said it was “supporting the family of a British woman who has died in Indonesia and are in contact with local authorities”.

Also Wednesday, Indonesia said its number of confirmed virus cases had reached 34.

The archipelago only reported its first novel coronavirus cases this month, as scientists questioned the relatively low rate of infections in the world’s fourth most populous country.

The World Health Organization said it was particularly concerned about high-risk nations with weaker health systems, who may lack the facilities to identify cases.

China remains the hardest-hit overall with more than 80,000 cases and 3,000 deaths, out of a global total of 117,339 cases and 4,251 people dying across 107 countries and territories, according to an AFP tally.