First case of new coronavirus variant found in France as cases rise - GulfToday

First case of new coronavirus variant found in France as cases rise


A medical worker administers a nasal swab to a patient at a coronavirus disease testing centre in Le Bignon, France. File/Reuters

Gulf Today Report

France has confirmed on Friday the first case of a new coronavirus variant that recently emerged in Britain, as the number of cases and deaths from COVID-19 mounted in the country.

The first French case — found in a citizen living in Britain who arrived from London on December 19 — has increased concerns of a new wave of the virus hitting the euro zone’s second-biggest economy.

France-Olivier-VeranFrench Health Minister Olivier Veran (L) visits a logistics hub for COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Paris, France. File/Reuters

Health authorities have carried out contact-tracing for the health professionals taking care of the patient, the ministry said in a statement.

Any of their contacts that were seen as vulnerable would similarly be isolated, it said.

The ministry said the case — the first in France — had been found in the city of Tours. The man in question arrived from London on Dec.19. He was currently self-isolating and felt alright, the ministry added.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock had said on Dec.14 that a spike in COVID cases in the United Kingdom might have been linked to the new variant of the virus in the country.

Britain-Matt-HancockBritain’s Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock arrives to attend a Cabinet meeting in London, Britain. File/Reuters

Hancock said more than 1,000 cases of the new variant had been identified, mainly in southeastern England.


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Countries around the world have in recent days closed their borders to both Britain and South Africa following the identification of cases of the new, fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus in those countries.

France registered 20,262 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases and 159 more related deaths in hospitals in the last 24 hours.

France’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases now stands at 2,547,771 while its COVID-19 death toll stands at 62,427 - the seventh-highest in the world.

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