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BEIJING, Jan 14 (APP): China on Thursday reported its first local COVID-19 fatality in about eight months since May17, a female patient from North China’s Hebei Province who had an underlying disease and had been extremely ill before she died on Wednesday afternoon.

Experts say the case is not a direct indication that the virus has become more pathogenic, according to Global Times.

The Chinese mainland reported 138 new confirmed and 78 asymptomatic cases registered on Wednesday, health authorities said on Thursday. Of all the confirmed cases, 81 come from Hebei, including 75 in its capital city Shijiazhuang. The province has 16 active severe cases in hospital.

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The patient, who died on Wednesday afternoon, was a woman with an underlying disease and had been extremely ill, according to the Hebei provincial health commission on Thursday.

The deceased patient is from Zengcun township, the epicenter of the latest Shijiazhuang outbreak. She died from multiple organ failure caused by critical COVID-19, said Yan Xixin, head of the Hebei COVID-19 medical treatment expert team,.

The patient first developed symptoms on Saturday and saw a rapid deterioration in her condition after the onset. She had myocardial injury syndrome apart from COVID-19 infection and later suffered from liver and kidney damage, according to Yan. After receiving a range of treatments, endotracheal intubation and extracorporeal membrane lung support, she died on Wednesday afternoon.

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Amid the fatality and the worsening situation in Hebei, the province’s anti-epidemic authorities on Wednesday night vowed to ensure that no deaths or cross-infection occur within hospitals.