Confirmed COVID-19 cases in France increase to 18

2020-02-27 08:23:30Xinhua Editor : Gu Liping ECNS App Download
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

France confirmed on Wednesday one more positive case for the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 18.

"It's the wife of a patient hospitalized in Annecy. Her health situation is not worrying, but she is hospitalized and confined," Health Minister Olivier Veran announced.

The country, already on high alert as neighboring Italy is struggling to contain the virus outbreak, reported the second coronavirus death and five more cases in two days.

A 60-year-old college teacher, who had not visited any country of risk, had caught the flu-like illness and died late on Tuesday. An elderly Chinese tourist died on Feb. 14.

Another man, 55, from the same northern region of Hauts de France, tested positive without having been to an affected zone. He has been on life support in Amiens.

"Investigations are underway to determine the source of these two infections," Etienne Champion, head of the regional health authority said.

A crisis unit was implemented to identify anyone who had come into contact with the two men, he added.

Two other cases involved two people who have recently stayed in Lombardy, a region in northern Italy with the most confirmed cases in the country.

Another case involved a Chinese woman, who returned from China early this month and was hospitalized in Paris.

Among France's 18 confirmed cases, 12 have been cured while four are still in hospital and two died.

"For now, there is no epidemic in France. France continues its strategy to curb the spread of the virus," stressed the health minister, but adding that 15 million protection masks would be made available.

The French Foreign Ministry on Tuesday issued a travel advice, calling on nationals to defer unnecessary trips to Lombardy and Veneto.

It added that school trips to Italy, the most-affected in Europe, were suspended until further notice.

The Ministry of National Education asked students who had spent holidays in China, Singapore, South Korea, and also in Italy's Lombardy and Veneto to stay at home for two weeks.

As the COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across Europe, Christian Estrosi, mayor of Nice, a French city close to Italian border, decided to cancel last major day of carnival "as a precaution."

"For me, health must come first. This seems to me the most responsible decision...The carnival of Nice attracts a large international crowd and in particular our Italian neighbors," he said.

Following the situation related to the coronavirus, the southeastern French city of Menton had also cancelled the three-week Lemon Festival which kicked off on Feb. 15. Enditem


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