A man holding a loudspeaker sits on a motorcycle as it travels past a sanitizing vehicle disinfecting the public space near residential buildings, following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country, in Panyu district of Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China February 11, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

Beijing: The death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak jumped past 1,500 in China on Saturday as France reported the first fatality outside Asia, fuelling global concerns about the epidemic.

In France, an 80-year-old Chinese tourist died from the new coronavirus, French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said. 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 critical days.

More than 66,000 people have now been infected in China from a virus that emerged in central Hubei province in December before spreading across the country and some two dozen countries.

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Amid criticism over the handling of the crisis, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for tighter policing to protect social stability, while Beijing ordered people returning to the capital to self-quarantine for 14 days in the latest drastic measure aimed at containing the virus.

Only three other deaths have been recorded outside mainland China - in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan.

The death toll in China, meanwhile, rose to 1,523 after 143 more people died in the country, most in Hubei.

Several countries have banned arrivals from China and major airlines have cut services with the country.

The biggest cluster outside China is on a quarantined cruise ship off Japan, with 285 infections now as dozens more cases were confirmed. The US embassy said it would evacuate Americans stranded on the vessel, who would face a further quarantine of two weeks in the United States.