Chilean writer Luis Sepulveda in 2017 (Photo: AP)
Chilean writer Luis Sepulveda, author of the novel ``The Old Man Who Read Love Stories,'' has died after a six-week battle with the new coronavirus. He was 70 years old.
The Spanish regional government of Asturias, where Sepulveda lived, confirmed his death Thursday. It gave no further details.
Sepulveda showed the first symptoms of infection at the end of February when he attended a literary festival in the north of Portugal. At the time he thought it was flu.
Later identified as one of the first cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, he was admitted to a hospital on Feb. 29 in Spain, officials from the Asturias government told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak to the press.
Born in Ovalle, Chile, in 1949, Sepulveda fled his country in 1977 amid Gen. Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship. After living in Germany in the 1990s, he moved to Gijon in Spain.
Sepulveda also wrote ``The Story of a Seagull and the Cat Who Taught Her to Fly`` and was a political activist.