COVID-19 coronavirus: First death from outbreak in Europe as Chinese tourist dies in France


15 February 2020, 14:05

Photo: Zuma

France has this morning announced the first COVID-19 coronavirus death in Europe. 

An 80-year-old Chinese tourist, from Hubei province, died on Friday evening in a Paris hospital, said France’s health minister, Agnès Buzyn.

“I was informed yesterday night of the death of a Chinese tourist aged 80, who was hospitalised in Bichat Hospital, Paris, since 25 January,” she said. “He died from a pulmonary infection from coronavirus.” 

“This Chinese patient, from Hubei province, arrived in France on 16 January 16. He was hospitalised at Bichat with strict isolation measures on 25 January. 

“His condition rapidly got worse and he had been in a critical situation for several days in intensive care. 

“His daughter also has the COVID19 virus and is also hospitalised at Bichat, her health condition is not causing concern anymore and she should be released soon.”

It is the first reported death from COVID-19 coronavirus outside Asia. So far it has killed 1,500 people, the overwhelming majority in China. There have been individual cases in Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines and now France. 

On Friday, the first COVID-19 infection was reported in Africa when Egypt confirmed a case.

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