France announces first coronavirus death in Europe

– An 80-year-old Chinese tourist hospitalized in France since the end of January died of the novel coronavirus on Friday evening, becoming the first fatality of the virus in Europe, French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said on Saturday.

The fatality is “the first out of Asia, the first in Europe”, said Buzyn at a news conference.

“I was informed (of this death) last night,” said the minister. After remaining in a critical condition for several days, the patient’s situation “deteriorated rapidly,” she added.

France has confirmed 11 coronavirus cases so far. Six patients remain hospitalized in a stable condition, while four have recovered, said the minister.

On Friday, Buzyn told local media that the Chinese government has taken appropriate measures to dry up the source of the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic and prevent its spread.