First Coronavirus Death in Europe Reported, While China Announces More Than 2,500 New Cases

A coronavirus patient in France has died, marking the first death in Europe attributed to the virus. Meanwhile, China reported over 2,500 new cases of the virus through midnight Friday.

According to The New York Times, Agnes Buzyn, France's health minister, said Saturday that an 80-year-old Chinese tourist from the Hubei province died at a Paris hospital on Friday. The man was hospitalized since January 25, after arriving in France on January 16.

"His condition had quickly worsened and he had been in critical condition for several days," Buzyn said in a statement. She also noted that the patient's daughter was also diagnosed with the coronavirus and hospitalized. The health minister said that she would be released soon.

"Her state of health is no longer a cause of concern and she should be able to leave the hospital soon," Buzyn said.

There have been 11 cases of the coronavirus in France, CNN reported.

The death in France is the fourth reported outside of China and the first in Europe. Individual deaths have also been reported in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan.

On Saturday, Chinese officials confirmed that 2,641 new cases were reported in the country. According to The Associated Press, China has diagnosed over 66,000 cases of the coronavirus with the death toll at 1,523 in the mainland. The new cases do show a significant drop from the previous 24-hour period in which over 5,000 new diagnoses were reported.

In the United States, there have been 15 cases of coronavirus, with one American citizen who died in China.

"What I've learned in the last two weeks is that the spectrum of this illness is much broader than was originally presented," Center for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Robert Redfield told CNN on Thursday. "There's much more asymptomatic illness.... What we don't know though is how much of the asymptomatic cases are driving transmission.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials said that American passengers aboard a cruise ship that was quarantined due to the coronavirus will have the option to leave the ship Sunday for a chartered flight back to the United States. The Diamond Princess was docked for over a week at the port city of Yokohama, south of Tokyo, following a quarantine when a passenger was diagnosed with the condition on February 1. There have been reportedly 218 cases of those with coronavirus aboard the ship out of about 3,700 passengers and crew--including over 400 Americans.

Those American passengers on the ship who had been diagnosed with the virus will not be allowed on the chartered flight and instead will be treated in Japan, CNN reported, CNN reported.

Updated 5:04 PM ET.

coronavirus
A customer looks at flowers at a flower shop in Hangzhou in China's eastern Zhejiang province on February 14, 2020. The first European death was reported for the coronavirus on Friday, as 2,000 new cases. STR/AFP/Getty