The death toll from the new coronavirus rose to 700 in mainland China on Saturday (February 8), according to authorities.
The number of fatalities are poised to surpass the 774 deaths recorded globally during the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s.
A 60-year-old American man also died from the infection in the Chinese city of Wuhan - the epicenter of the outbreak - marking the first confirmed non-Chinese death of the illness, U.S. officials said.
While the vast majority of cases have been in China, the virus has spread to some two dozen countries abroad.
Five British nationals, including a child, were diagnosed with the virus in France, after staying in the same ski chalet in the Contamines-Montjoie resort in Savoie.
The infected Britons had been hospitalized overnight in the region.
But officials have said they were not in a serious condition.
Hong Kong authorities said on Saturday 35 crew members and 9 passengers of a quarantined cruise ship were tested negative of coronavirus after they showed signs of having a fever and a respiratory tract infection.