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France sees first death from coronavirus

The coronavirus seen through a microscope
The coronavirus seen through a microscope AFP

France's has seen its first death from the the Sars-like coronavirus. A 65-year-old man who is thought to have contracted the virus in Dubai, died on Tuesday in a hospital in Lille, northern France, where he had been since the end of April.


Another man who shared a hospital room with him for a few days was later found to have the virus

The man’s death does not mean the virus is spreading in France, French Health Minister Marisol Touraine insists.

“The two patients have not contaminated other people,” she told reporters on Tuesday. “We have not identified any new cases. But we are still vigilant, and in particular I call on travellers to the Arabian peninsula to respect the precautionary measures recommended to them.”

Like Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), which killed 775 people in 2002-2003, the coronavirus appears to cause an infection deep in the lungs but it also causes rapid kidney failure.

Before the Frenchman's death 23 people had died from coronavirus, 18 of them is Saudi Arabia where 39 of the 44 cases have been registered, according to the World Health Organisation.

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