France Announces First Coronavirus Death in Europe

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
February 15, 2020COVID-19share
France Announces First Coronavirus Death in Europe
This transmission electron microscope image shows the virus that causes COVID-19 isolated from a patient in the United States in February 2020. (NIAID-RML/CC BY 2.0)

France’s health minister has announced the first coronavirus death in Europe.

Minister Agnes Buzyn says Saturday that “I was informed last night of the death of an 80-year-old patient who had been hospitalized … since Jan. 25.”

Agnes Buzyn
French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn announces the first confirmed coronavirus-related death in Europe at a news conference in Paris, France, on Feb. 15, 2020. (Screenshot/Reuters TV)

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 Jan. 16, then was hospitalized on Jan. 25 under strict isolation measures. His condition deteriorated rapidly.

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

Currently, France has 11 known cases of the virus, including the latest death. Europe has 46 cases of the virus. Nine European nations have reported cases, with Germany having the most at 16.

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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