China coronavirus outbreak: all the latest updates | News from China

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The death toll from the new coronavirus epidemic in China it surpassed 1,500 on Saturday after 139 others died in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.

State adviser Wang Yi, who also serves as China's foreign minister, acknowledged that the infection, now known as COVID-19, was a huge challenge, but defended Beijing's administration of the epidemic and attacked the "overreaction" some countries.

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"With our efforts, the epidemic is under general control," he told Reuters news agency on Friday.

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More than two dozen countries confirmed cases and several nations suspended trade and travel relations with China in an attempt to contain the virus. Three deaths were recorded outside mainland China – one in Hong Kong one in The Philippinesand the most recent in Japan.

The world health organization (WHO) warned that the virus poses a "serious threat" to the world, with chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saying that the virus can have "more powerful consequences than any terrorist action".

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Egypt reported its first coronavirus case on Friday, becoming the first country on the African continent to confirm a case, and the second in the Middle East region, after the United Arab Emirates diagnosed its first cases at the end of last month.

Here are the most recent updates:

Saturday, February 15

China registers 143 new deaths from coronavirus on the continent

The National Health Commission of China said the death toll from COVID-19 reached 1,523 on the continent by the end of Friday, an increase of 143 from the previous day.

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Across mainland China, there were 2,641 new infections confirmed on Friday. The total number accumulated so far has reached 66,492.

Almost 65,000 people are infected with coronavirus worldwide (5:20)

Japanese man who visited Hawaii confirmed with coronavirus

A man who visited Hawaii was confirmed to have coronavirus when he returned home to Japan, according to Hawaii officials.

Health officials were tracking details of his trip to Aloha state, including flight information and people he had close contact with.

The man was in Hawaii from January 28 to February 7 and had flu-like symptoms during his last days there, said Bruce Anderson, Hawaii's director of health. He only developed more severe symptoms when he returned to Japan, where he was tested and found positive for the disease, Anderson.

Because of when his symptoms began, authorities believe he was infected in Japan or in transit to Hawaii, said state epidemiologist Sarah Park.

"Our focus at this point is to try to understand who potentially that person may have had close and prolonged contact with," said Park, adding that they are focusing on his whereabouts while on Oahu, because that is where he developed symptoms.

Death toll in China exceeds 1,500

The death toll from China's new coronavirus epidemic exceeded 1,500, after 139 people died in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.

The provincial health commission also reported 2,420 new cases of the COVID-19 strain, about half the number from the previous day.

Now, at least 1,519 people have died from the outbreak that first appeared in Hubei's capital, Wuhan, in December and which hit a national epidemic a month later. More than 66,000 people have already been infected, with the majority of deaths occurring in Hubei.

Read updates from Friday, February 14 here

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