Coronavirus: France moves into ‘new stage of epidemic’ as number of cases rises to 57

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France has now had 57 confirmed cases of coronavirus – 45 of which are diagnosed since Tuesday. The country’s health minister on Friday said 19 more cases had been confirmed within the last 24 hours and therefore the country was now in “stage 2” of the coronavirus epidemic.
France’s new health minister Olivier Véran confirmed on Friday night that the amount of confirmed cases in France now stands at 57, about 12 of which are diagnosed since the main outbreak began in Italy over the weekend.

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Véran said on Friday there have been 19 more confirmed cases compared to an equivalent time on Thursday.

Echoing the words of President Emmanuel Macron earlier within the day, he said: “We are preparing for a plague .”

He added: “We are now moving to stage two. The virus is circulating in our country and that we must stop its spread.”

Existing hygiene advice – regular handwashing, using disposable tissues, covering you mouth with you elbow once you cough – remains in situ , but the minister added: “I now recommend people avoid shaking hands.”

France has launched a special hotline number so worried members of the general public can seek help and advice that’s manned 24/7. the amount is 0800 130 000. The emergency number 15 should only be used if the a member of the general public believes they’re affected by a medical condition linked to coronavirus.

Of the 45 new cases announced in the week , two people are during a serious condition. that they had both recently returned from Egypt as a part of a tour group.

The official total of 57 includes 11 who fully recovered from the virus earlier this month and a couple of fatalities, one a 60-year-old teacher from northern France the opposite an elderly Chinese tourist.

Jérôme Salomon, Director General of health, said that the new cases were all close associates or relations of the cases diagnosed earlier within the week.

The biggest cluster is within the Oise département, the house of the 60-year-old technology teacher who died of the virus on Tuesday.

There are 18 confirmed cases in Oise and authorities expect this number to rise as they conduct mass testing at the varsity where the person taught – which is closed for the vacations and can not be reopening on Monday.

There is a cluster of six cases in Annecy within the French Alps, all connected to a 64-year-old man who had recently returned from Lombardy.

There also are confirmed cases in Lyon, Strasbourg, Montpellier, Nice and therefore the Seine-Saint-Denis département on the outskirts of Paris.

French authorities are expecting a surge within the number of cases ever since the outbreak in Italy, but are concerned that the teacher who died had not travelled to an infected zone and had no obvious contact with anyone who had.

A hunt has now been launched to undertake and identify the ‘patient zero’.

Emmanuel Macron and France’s new health minister Olivier Véran visiting staff at Pitié Salpêtrère hospital. Photo: AFP

“We face a crisis, a plague that’s coming,” said French president Emmanuel Macron while visiting staff at the La Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, where the primary Frenchman carrying the new coronavirus died on Tuesday.

“We know that we’re only at the start … we’re getting to try with all our caretakers to form the proper decisions,” Macron said alongside Health Minister Olivier Veran.

“You had a case here… i do know this affected many of your teams,” he said, pledging to deal with the crisis “truthfully” in order that measures are often taken “calmly”.

MAP Which Italian regions are worst suffering from coronavirus?

French authorities are stepping up preparations ever since the main outbreak of coronavirus over the border in Italy was reported over the weekend.

French ministers held an emergency meeting on Sunday night to debate things in Italy, and commenced stepping up preparations in France, including preparing 70 extra hospitals to receive coronavirus patients and tripling the resources for the country’s testing programme.

However authorities said they might not be closing the border with Italy.

“It doesn’t make much sense,” said Jérôme Salomon. “Not to say that you simply can pass by land, sea and air, or undergo Italy and Austria.”

In Paris a serious trade show which usually attracts thousands of individuals from round the world has been cancelled due to coronavirus fears.

The JEC World Leading International Composites Show had been scheduled to start out on May 12th.

Anyone who has recently returned from Italy or China has been told to self-isolate for 2 weeks in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.

On its website, the French government urged those coming back from the listed places to “avoid all non-essential outings”, giving as examples “big gatherings, restaurants, the cinema”, for 2 weeks after their return and to stay their children home from daycare or school.

Employees and students were encouraged to figure from home “in thus far as possible” and to avoid meetings, elevators and cafeterias.

Schools are currently asking all pupils recently returned from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea or Italy to remain reception for a fortnight.

Italy may be a popular holiday destination for French families during the February holidays, and lots of schools also run trips there over the break.

Many schools have reported issuing advice to pupils to remain reception , and there are expected to be more on Monday when the new term starts for schools in zone B – Aix-Marseille and Nice.

France was the primary country in Europe to verify cases of coronavirus on January 24th, although then health minister Agnès Buzyn said at the time she believed that was just because France had developed a far better testing protocol than many other countries.

France initially saw five cases diagnosed in late January, all people that had recently travelled from China, where the outbreak began.

A French doctor who had treated a patient then became the sixth person to be infected.

The next six cases were all centred on a resort within the French Alps where a British man who had recently returned from Asia passed the virus on to a gaggle of individuals who had been staying within the same ski chalet.

Apart from the elderly Chinese tourist all 11 recovered.

Until Tuesday, there had been no new cases for over a fortnight, but as more cases were confirmed in Italy, then Spain, Austria and Switzerland, French authorities prepared themselves again.

The World Health Organisation reports that of the people that contract the virus, the overwhelming majority will make a full recovery and only five percent of cases are considered critical.

The people that have died thus far have generally been elderly or with underlying health conditions.

France has actually been officially in a plague state for normal seasonal flu since the beginning of February as thousands have fallen sick. Since the beginning of the flu season in November, 530 people are admitted to medical care and 44 people have died.

In France authorities are asking people that think they’ll have coronavirus symptoms to not attend hospital or their doctor’s surgery.

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