First coronavirus death confirmed in Europe; more than 67,000 cases globally

Updated: Feb 16, 2020, 10:35 IST | Agencies | Paris

China's National Health Commission reported an additional 143 deaths nationwide; the number of total deaths touches 1,523.

A couple wearing protective facemasks walk on a nearly empty street in Beijing on Saturday. Pic/AFP
A couple wearing protective facemasks walk on a nearly empty street in Beijing on Saturday. Pic/AFP

Paris: An 80-year-old Chinese tourist has died from the new coronavirus in France, the first death confirmed outside of Asia, French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said on Saturday. Buzyn said she had been told about the death of the patient —in hospital in Paris since late January—late on Friday, adding that his condition "had deteriorated rapidly" after several days in a critical condition.

Six people with the virus remain in hospital in France, Buzyn said, adding that none were seriously ill. One of them was the dead Chinese tourist's 50-year-old daughter and the rest were British nationals who were infected by a compatriot at a French ski resort. The scale of the epidemic ballooned this week after officials in the Chinese province of Hubei—the epicentre of the outbreak—changed their criteria for counting cases, adding thousands of new patients to the tally.

A staffer checking temperature of a driver in Zhangjiakou
A staffer checking temperature of a driver in Zhangjiakou

The overall death toll in China due to the deadly coronavirus on Saturday increased to 1,523, with a total of 66,492 confirmed cases, authorities said. The National Health Commission said that it had received reports of 2,641 new confirmed cases and 143 deaths on Friday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

Among the deaths, 139 were in Hubei province, two in Henan, and one each in Beijing and Chongqing, according to the Commission. Also on Friday, 849 patients became seriously ill, while 1,373 people were discharged from hospital after recovery. The Commission added that 11,053 patients remained in severe condition, and 8,969 people were suspected of being infected with the virus. A total of 8,096 people had been discharged from hospital.

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