France announces 1st death in Europe of virus patient

The patient's daughter was also hospitalized but authorities say she is expected to recover.

Medical staff work in the negative-pressure isolation ward in Jinyintan Hospital, designated for critical COVID-19 patients, in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. China on Thursday reported 254 new deaths and a spike in virus cases of 15,152, after the hardest-hit province of Hubei applied a new classification system that broadens the scope of diagnoses for the outbreak, which has spread to more than 20 countries. (Chinatopix Via AP) –The Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — France’s health minister has announced the first coronavirus death in Europe.

Minister Agnes Buzyn says Saturday that “I was informed last night of the death of an 80-year-old patient who had been hospitalized … since Jan. 25.”

The patient, a Chinese tourist from the province of Hubei, had a lung infection caused by the COVID-19 virus. He arrived in France on Jan. 16, then was hospitalized on Jan. 25 under strict isolation measures. His condition deteriorated rapidly.

His daughter was also hospitalized but authorities say she is expected to recover.

Europe has 46 cases of the virus that first emerged in central China in December. Nine European nations have reported cases, with Germany having the most at 16.

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The virus has infected more than 67,000 people globally and has killed at least 1,526 people, the vast majority in China. The World Health Organization has called the virus a threat to global health.

Chinese authorities have placed some 60 million people under a strict lockdown, built emergency hospitals and instituted controls across the country to fight the spread of the virus. Restaurants, cinemas and other businesses have been closed nationwide and sports and cultural events have been canceled to prevent crowds from gathering.

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Read all the AP stories about the coronavirus outbreak that emerged from China at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak

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