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France records 1st death in Europe from coronavirus

The Associated Press

Paris – 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.”

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.

People wearing masks play games Feb. 5 at a quarantined vacation center in Carry-le-Rouet, southern France, which is accommodating French citizens repatriated from the virus-hit city of Wuhan.

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.