Chinese tourist in France dies of coronavirus: French health minister

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The death toll rose by 143 to 1,523, with most of the new deaths in central Hubei province and in particular the provincial capital of Wuhan, the city of 11 million people where the outbreak began in December.

The epidemic has killed 1,527 people, all but four of which were on the Chinese mainland.

Since then, scores of airlines have cancelled flights to and from China and several countries have evacuated their citizens from Hubei.

Until the death in France, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan were the only other territories to record deaths, reporting one each.

Anyone returning to Beijing must to go into quarantine for 14 days or risk punishment. But it was not immediately clear how that would be enforced, or whether the restrictions would apply to non-residents or foreigners arriving from overseas.

The pensioner from Hubei province was taken ill three weeks ago while on holiday in France, and died yesterday.

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A worker sprays disinfectant outside the Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, on February 15, 2020.

Patients "clinically diagnosed" through lung imaging are now included, in addition to those that have shown up positive after laboratory analysis, adding thousands of new patients to Hubei's infection figures. Meanwhile, China reported over 2,500 new cases of the virus through midnight Friday.

The coronavirus outbreak is still an emergency for China and it is impossible to tell where the epidemic will spread, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, said on Saturday.

"China has bought the world time". "We call on all governments, companies and news organisations to work with us to sound the appropriate level of alarm, without fanning the flames of hysteria".

On Friday, the first COVID-19 infection was reported in Africa when Egypt confirmed a case.

The WHO has cautioned that it was "way too early" to make any predictions about the disease's trajectory.

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