EU Member France Sees First Coronavirus Death outside Asia
A total of 46 coronavirus cases have been registered in nine European countries so far.
The first case of a death from the coronavirus (COVID-19) outside Asia was announced on Saturday by EU member state France.
The patient who passed away from the coronavirus is an 80-year-old Chinese tourist treated in intensive care at Bichat Hospital in Paris since late January, French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn informed, as cited by AP and France24.
The deceased man, a tourist from China’s province of Hubei, had a serious lung infection caused by the COVID-19 virus.
His daughter was also infected with the virus but her condition has improved, and she is expected to be discharged shortly.
Hubei province includes Wuhan, the city in Central China hit hardest by the coronavirus epidemic.
According to France’s Health Minister, the Chinese tourist arrived in France on Jan. 16 and was hospitalized on Jan. 25 under strict isolation measures but his condition deteriorated rapidly.
Dr. Yazdan Yazdanpanah, head of Bichat’s infectious diseases unit, said the man had been turned away by two French hospitals before being hospitalized at Bichat.
As of Saturday, four of the 11 confirmed coronavirus cases in France have been “cured” and left the hospital, while six others still remain hospitalized, Buzyn announced.
A total of 9 European countries collectively have 46 cases of the coronavirus. The largest number of those, 16, are in Germany.
The coronavirus has infected some 70,000 people worldwide, and has killed more than 1,500.
China’s authorities have placed some 60 million people under a strict lockdown, amid a wide range of other measures to limit the spread of the virus.
“Dawn is breaking and we are seeing light coming through,” China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated during the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.
In his words, the epidemic has presented a “severe challenge” to China’s economy growth but said it was well positioned to rebound.
“The fundamentals sustaining strong economic growth have not changed, and will not change,” he said.
“After the storm comes the rainbow, and we are confident that China will emerge stronger from the epidemic,” Wang emphasized.
Meanwhile, Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio announced all Italians who sought repatriation from Wuhan due to the coronavirus had returned to Italy.
The last was 17-year-old student who was twice refused passage due to a fever but has tested negative for coronavirus, and will now spend two weeks in quarantine at a military facility near Rome.
(Banner image: Agnes Buzyn on Twitter)