France reports first coronavirus death in Europe; 80-year-old Chinese tourist from Hubei dies of lung infection

The patient, a Chinese tourist from the province of Hubei, had a lung infection caused by the COVID-19 virus

The Associated Press February 15, 2020 20:57:10 IST
France reports first coronavirus death in Europe; 80-year-old Chinese tourist from Hubei dies of lung infection
  • France's health minister has announced the first coronavirus death in Europe

  • The patient, a Chinese tourist from the province of Hubei, had a lung infection caused by the COVID-19 virus

  • He arrived in France on 16 January then was hospitalized on 25 January under strict isolation measures

Paris: France's health minister has announced the first coronavirus death in Europe.

Health minister Agnes Buzyn said Saturday, "I was informed last night of the death of an 80-year-old patient who had been hospitalized ... since 25 January."

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Representational image. Getty Images

The patient, a Chinese tourist from the province of Hubei, had a lung infection caused by the COVID-19 virus. He arrived in France on 16 January then was hospitalized on 25 January under strict isolation measures. His condition deteriorated rapidly.

His daughter was also hospitalized but authorities say she is expected to recover.

Europe has 46 cases of the virus that first emerged in central China in December. Nine European nations have reported cases, with Germany having the most at 16.

The virus has infected more than 67,000 people globally and has killed at least 1,526 people, the vast majority in China. The World Health Organization has called the virus a threat to global health.

Chinese authorities have placed some 60 million people under a strict lockdown, built emergency hospitals and instituted controls across the country to fight the spread of the virus. Restaurants, cinemas and other businesses have been closed nationwide and sports and cultural events have been canceled to prevent crowds from gathering.

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