A 64-year-old man died in Argentina as a result of the new coronavirus, the first such death in Latin America, local officials announced Saturday.
The victim was not on the Government's register of confirmed cases and officials only knew he had the virus after testing him after he passed away. The man died at the Argerich Hospital in Buenos Aires City, where he had been hospitalised for two days.
After his death, the authorities subsequently decided to swab his body and it was found that he was suffering from the virus.
The Health Ministry said the patient lived in Buenos Aires and had been confirmed with Covid-19 after coming down with a cough, fever and sore throat following a recent trip to Europe.
He returned to Argentina on February 25, the Health Ministry said in a statement. He became ill on February 28 with a fever, cough and sore throat and sought medical care on March 4. The patient was hospitalised and placed in intensive care and required machine-assisted breathing, the statement said.
The patient suffered from kidney failure and already had diabetes, hypertension and bronchitis prior to being infected with the virus, the statement added.
He had been in intensive care since being admitted to hospital on Wednesday.
Officials said the man was not one of the nine confirmed Covid-19 cases previously reported for Argentina. Research is underway to determine who the patient had been in contact with, authorities said. It was reported on Saturday that the deceased only had direct contact with his wife, who has now been placed in quarantine..
He reported visited La Baliu, Paris, during his trip to Europe and arrived home without any symptoms. The 64-year-old man died in the early hours of Saturday morning and, according to local reports, it was only this afternoon that he became aware of the disease that originated in China.
Elsewhere in the region, officials in Peru announced five new cases of Covid-19 infection Saturday, raising the country's total to six. Paraguay reported its first case, and Chile said it now had seven confirmed cases, up from five.
Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Costa Rica also have reported confirmed cases of the new coronavirus.
According to the latest official data, there are more than 101,000 infected worldwide and more than 3,400 deaths, across 95 nations and territories.