Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Death toll in France from coronavirus reaches 33

Virus continues to spread in country, with four MPs and one minister infected

Yusuf Ozcan, Davit Kachkachishvili, Dmitri Chirciu   | 11.03.2020
Death toll in France from coronavirus reaches 33

PARIS/TBILISI/MOSCOW

The death toll in France from the novel coronavirus outbreak has risen to 33, an official said Tuesday.

The number of cases has also risen by 372 to 1,784, Director General of Health Jerome Salomon said at a press conference.

The deceased were 64 years old or older and 86 patients are in serious condition, he said, adding 98% of those diagnosed with the virus have recovered.

France's political infrastructure has fallen prey to the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, with four members of the National Assembly, the culture minister and one worker reported infected as of Tuesday.

All are in various stages of confinement, and those who have come into contact with them have been alerted to the situation.

French Culture Minister Franck Riester is at home under quarantine.

Despite 104 cases in the Ile-de-France region, parliament said it would carry on business as usual.

France is the second-most affected country in Europe after Italy, which is currently in a lockdown announced by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte Tuesday morning. Cases in Italy have skyrocketed over the past week, reaching 9,172 with 463 reported deaths.

The French government has banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people and suspended schools in the northern regions of Oise and Haut-Rhin until further notice to guard against the virus.

Georgia sees rise in coronavirus cases

The number of coronavirus cases in the Eastern European country of Georgia has jumped to 23, according to a special website created to announce news about the virus in the country.

Celebrations of the annual Nevruz spring festival have reportedly been cancelled.

Also, 156 Georgian citizens who had been stuck in Italy due to the outbreak there were evacuated via a charter flight and brought to the capital Tbilisi.

Event ban in Moscow

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced Tuesday that activities involving more than 5,000 people in the Russian capital have been banned until April 10 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The global death toll from the novel coronavirus is more than 4,000, with nearly 114,000 confirmed cases.

The virus originated in Wuhan, China but has reached more than 100 countries, with the World Health Organization saying Monday that the “threat of a pandemic has become very real.”

As part of efforts to contain the outbreak, some governments have closed borders and suspended land and air travel with the worst-hit countries.

*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin

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