France’s health minister said Saturday a Chinese patient diagnosed with coronavirus has died in a Paris hospital, the first death from the new virus in Europe.
Minister Agnes Buzyn said he was informed Friday night that an 80-year-old patient died from the new coronavirus, named COVID-19. The patient had been hospitalized at Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital in Paris since Jan. 25.
The patient, a Chinese tourist from the province of Hubei, had a lung infection caused by the COVID-19 virus. He arrived in France on Jan. 16 and was hospitalized Jan. 25 under strict isolation measures. His condition deteriorated rapidly.
His daughter was also hospitalized but authorities say she is expected to recover.
Europe has 46 cases of the virus that first emerged in central China in December. Nine European nations have reported cases, with Germany having the most at 16.
The World Health Organization has not yet confirmed the death of the coronavirus patient.
China reports drop in new virus cases
On Saturday, confirmed cases of the virus in China rose to 66,492 and the number of deaths rose to 1,523, according to China’s National Health Commission.
The updated numbers represent 2,641 new virus cases, significantly less than the increase reported in recent days.
Medical workers account for a small percentage of those infections. More than 1,700 Chinese medical workers have been infected — and six have died — by the new coronavirus, a senior Chinese official said Friday.
More than 580 cases have been confirmed outside mainland China. There have been three fatalities, in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan, which confirmed nine more cases Saturday.
As of Saturday morning, 67,091 people worldwide had been infected with the virus, including 15 in the U.S., according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
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US to evacuate Americans on cruise ship
The United States was expected to evacuate nearly 400 American passengers under quarantine due to coronavirus on board Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Japan announced early Saturday.
The Diamond Princess is thought to be the largest group of coronavirus patients outside China. As of Thursday, at least 218 people aboard the ship had tested positive for coronavirus, including at least 20 Americans.
The Princess Cruises ship was carrying 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew when it set sail and was quarantined after an initial 10 cases of coronavirus were reported Feb. 4.
Coronavirus quarantine:US to evacuate nearly 400 Americans on board cruise ship
Contributing: Morgan Hines, Julia Thompson, Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY; Associated Press