Second person dies of coronavirus in France; Greece, North Macedonia confirm first cases - GulfToday

Second person dies of coronavirus in France; Greece, North Macedonia confirm first cases


Nurses with face masks stand outside the hospital of Ahepa in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Wednesday. AFP

A second person suffering from the coronavirus died in France as health officials tried to find out how the college teacher, who had not visited any country with a known outbreak, had caught the new disease.

The 60-year-old man was already seriously ill when he was admitted to hospital in Paris late on Tuesday. He died overnight, health officials said on Wednesday.

Another man from the same northerly Hauts de France region who had the virus without having been to an affected zone was on life-support.

France-Virus-750x450Medical staff are at work in the laboratory to analyse samples on the possible presence of the COVID-19 in Marseille. AFP

"Investigations are under way to determine the source of these two infections," Etienne Champion, head of the regional health authority, told reporters.

In Europe, Greece and neighbouring North Macedonia registered their first confirmed virus cases on Wednesday, also involving people who recently traveled to Italy’s afflicted north. The first cases reported in Austria, Croatia and Switzerland on Tuesday also had travel ties to northern Italy.

Spain has reported nine new cases since Monday, all with an Italy link, two of France's five new cases had ties to Italy and Finland reported its second case in someone who had been in Milan, Lombardy's capital.

ItalianOfficialVirusGirls wearing face masks are reflected on a window in downtown Milan's Gae Aulenti square. AP

Local authorities in Austria took quarantine measures after two unconfirmed cases had an Italy link, only to remove them when tests came back negative.

A team was working to identify anyone who had come into contact with the men before they were identified as a high coronavirus risk. The teacher who died had been on sick-leave since Feb.12 and his school is now on holiday.

France is on high alert after neighbouring northern Italy became a new front in the global fight to contain the outbreak.

The total number of registered coronavirus cases in France now stands at 17. The mayor of Nice said he was cancelling Saturday's carnival finale in the Riviera city, which lies near the border with Italy, due to the outbreak in Europe.

ItalyVisitorsTourists wearing masks take pictures at Duomo square in northern Italy. Reuters

In the central city of Beaune, a group of Chinese tourists were confined for several hours in their hotel after a member of their party who lived in Hong Kong died suddenly on Tuesday evening. They were released after a coronavirus test on the dead person proved negative.

In nearby Lyon, a European Champions League soccer game between Olympique Lyonnais and Juventus, from Turin in northern Italy, will go ahead on Wednesday, drawing criticism from some local politicians.

"We have a football match with 3,000 supporters coming from Italy, and ... no protective measure have been put in place," said Christophe Quiniou, the mayor of the Lyon suburb where the stadium is located. "We're acting like nothing's happening."

Death of Hong Kong tourist probed -

Meanwhile, 30 tourists have been confined to their hotel in the Burgundy town of Beaune after the as-yet unexplained death of a tourist from Hong Kong, the regional health department said.

ItalyShipSprayA member of sanitation services sanitises a vaporetto public waterbus in Venice. AFP

The department said a tour group, which had been due to travel to Paris Wednesday, was being kept at the Ibis hotel while tests are carried out "to banish all suspicion of a case of coronavirus."

The agency did not say where the other members of the group were from. The Beaune town hall said the dead man had a heart condition.

Other guests who had not been in contact with the group were allowed to leave.

Agencies Girls wearing face masks are reflected on a window in downtown Milan's Gae Aulenti square Wednesday, Feb. 26

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