Europe records first coronavirus fatality as tourist dies in France


Coronavirus has claimed its first victim outside Asia after an elderly Chinese tourist died in France.

The country’s health minister confirmed the news saying the 80-year-old man had died in a Paris hospital.

Agnes Buzyn said the unnamed person had succumbed ‘to a pulmonary infection with coronavirus.’

He had been in isolation at the Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital in the north of the capital since falling ill on January 25.

Ms Buzyn added the man arrived in France nine days earlier from Hubei – the province at the epicentre of the crisis in China.

She continued: ‘His condition had deteriorated rapidly and he had been in a critical condition for several days before being taken into intensive care.

‘This is the first death from the coronavirus outside Asia, the first death in Europe.’

The country has recorded 11 cases of the virus, including the dead man’s daughter.

Ms Buzyn continued: ‘Her state of health is no longer cause for concern and she should be able to be released soon.’

Five Britons also picked up coronavirus while on holiday in France after they came into contact with businessman Steve Walsh, who is now clear of the disease.

He picked up the disease, now officially renamed as Covid-19, while attending a conference in Singapore and came back to the UK via a French ski resort.

There are now 66,492 confirmed cases across the world, including the first in Africa.

Mainland China’s death toll has now risen to 1,523.

Before the European fatality, only three deaths have been recorded outside China – in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan.

There are nine people in hospital in the UK with the virus but there have been no fatal cases.

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