France reports coronavirus death

AFP-JIJI

France’s first victim of a SARS-like virus, which the 65-year-old man is thought to have contracted in Dubai, has died, health officials said Tuesday.

“The first patient is dead,” said a spokesman with the Directorate General for Health, referring to the man who was hospitalized on April 23 following digestion problems after his return from Dubai.

The novel coronavirus had claimed two lives in Europe already: one in Britain and another in Germany. The new virus has killed 24 people around the world so far, mainly in Saudi Arabia.

Another man in France, who shared a hospital room with him for three days, was later found to have the virus, a cousin of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome that sparked a global health scare in 2003.