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Saturday, February 15, 2020, 20:15
France records 1st virus death in Europe, Egypt confirms 1st case
By Agencies
Saturday, February 15, 2020, 20:15 By Agencies

A view of Paris taken from the Tour Saint-Jacques on April 26, 2019. (ERIC FEFERBERG / AFP)

PARIS/CAIRO - An elderly Chinese tourist hospitalized in France has died of the coronavirus, becoming the first fatality in Europe, French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said on Saturday.

The 80-year-old Chinese tourist, who was treated at the Bichat hospital in northern Paris since Jan 25, has died of a lung infection due to the coronavirus

France has recorded 11 cases of the virus, out of a global total of 63,851. The vast majority of those suffering from the virus are in China. The epidemic has killed almost 1,400 people.

Buzyn said she was informed on Friday that the 80-year-old man, who was treated at the Bichat hospital in northern Paris since Jan 25, had died of a lung infection due to the coronavirus.

Until the death in France, there had been three deaths outside the Chinese mainland, with one in Japan, one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.

EGYPT CONFIRMS FIRST CASE

On Friday, Egypt confirmed its first coronavirus case and said the affected person was a foreigner who had been put into isolation in hospital.

The health ministry said in a statement it had immediately informed the World Health Organization (WHO) and had taken all necessary preventative measures. It did not give the nationality of the affected person, or any other details.

WHO Egypt said on Twitter the person was carrying the virus, but had not shown any symptoms and was in a stable condition

WHO Egypt said on Twitter the person was carrying the virus, but had not shown any symptoms and was in a stable condition.

READ MORE: Global screening heightened to stop virus outbreak

"A foreign person has tested positive for the coronavirus ... The case is stable and did not show any symptoms," Khaled Mujahid, spokesperson for the health ministry, said in a statement.

He said that the person was transferred in a self-sterilized ambulance to a hospital and kept under mandatory quarantine, adding that the health ministry has tested those who are in contact with the case, affirming they all were negative for the virus.

"They will also be kept for 14-day quarantine at their residences as a precautionary measure," the spokesman said, noting that medical teams check them every eight hours.

ALSO READ: Global cooperation more vital in fighting viruses

He said that the case was detected thanks to the preventive precautionary plan implemented by the health ministry through activating the electronic program to register and follow up those coming from countries where the novel coronavirus spread.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic, Egypt has adopted an integrated plan, which covers early detection, quarantine and treatment measures, as well as raising public awareness.  

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