The death toll in China from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 1,666, the country’s National Health Commission said Sunday.

Authorities said 68,500 confirmed cases have been reported, while in the last 24 hours, 142 people have died and almost 2,009 new cases have been detected.

The number of those detected with the virus outside China's mainland surged to 84 in Hong Kong and stands at 10 in Macau. Both are special administrative regions.

The number under medical observation dropped to 158,764.

The virus is said to have been transmitted to humans from animals, particularly bats.

It has spread to more than 20 other countries including the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain and India.

Many countries, including Turkey, have evacuated their citizens from the city of Wuhan – the epicenter of the virus – and other affected areas of China, placing them under quarantine and monitoring.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.