The U.S. State Department on Tuesday reported its first coronavirus fatality among the staff at its headquarters in Washington, bringing the total death toll in its global workforce due to the outbreak to five.
“The individual passed over the weekend,” William Walters, deputy chief medical officer for operations in the Bureau of Medical Services told reporters in a teleconference. “He was hospitalized for some time fighting the coronavirus and ultimately did succumb.”
Walters said that the deceased individual, a civil servant, had been out of the office for more than two weeks. He did not provide further details, including in what role the individual served at the State Department, citing privacy issues.
Among the other four fatalities in the State Department’s global workforce, three others were locally employed staff in foreign missions while a fourth person, a contractor working in New York, died of the illness last week.
The Department is currently tracking a total of 297 cases overseas, including 182 active and 115 recovered, while domestically another 71 cases were also being monitored, Walters said. Four of those had also been recovered, he added.