Coronavirus: Five Britons Affected in France, Without Sign of Seriousness

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Five new cases of coronavirus in France .

These five people positive for coronavirus as well as six of their relatives were hospitalized on Friday 7th February 2020 in Lyon, Saint-Etienne and Grenoble.

Five new cases of people infected with the new coronavirus have been identified in France, the British, whose state of health does not inspire concern, announced Saturday 8th February 2020, the Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn.

It is a “cluster”, that is to say, a grouping of several cases around an “initial case”, a British national who stayed from 24 January, for a few days, in Contamines -Montjoie in Haute-Savoie, back from Singapore, she detailed.

Hospitalized in Lyon, Saint-Etienne and Grenoble

These five people positive for the new coronavirus, four adults and a child, but also “close contacts” of this British national, “ie 11 people in all, all of British nationality “, who all lived in the same chalet, were hospitalized on the night of Friday to Saturday in LyonSaint-Etienne and Grenoble, according to the minister.

“Their clinical condition shows no sign of seriousness,” said Agnes Buzyn.

Two schools closed in Haute-Savoie

In Annecy, the director of the Regional Health Agency (ARS) of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Jean-Yves Grall, announced to the press the closure “next week” of the two schools attended by the affected child, 9 years old. Usually enrolled in Contamines-Montjoie, where the school accommodates 95 students, this CM1 student had followed French lessons Thursday afternoon in a school in Saint-Gervais, attended by about 200 students.

The mayor of Saint-Gervais, Jean-Marc Peillex wanted to put into perspective the risk of contamination in the school of his commune where the young Briton “did not rub shoulders with a whole school but he rubbed shoulders with five students for half a day”.

“You shouldn’t panic an entire population. It is a flu but it is not an evacuation of the territory.”

Dr Anne-Marie Durand, director of public health at the ARS recalled that contact “between people, close and prolonged” was necessary for contamination.

Regular points for the population will be distributed by the ARS, where a permanent crisis center has notably been set up to ensure “regular monitoring of hospitalized patients and, on the other hand, a search for contact persons”.

Six other cases in France

According to the mayor of Contamines-Montjoie, Etienne Jacquet, the 11 people hospitalized stayed in two chalets in the resort, seven people in one and four in the other.

“The ARS has had the chalets disinfected and is responsible for finding all contact cases,” said the mayor, who does not know which means of transport these British tourists used to come to Haute-Savoie.

The British national at the origin of these five new infections himself returned to England on January 28, and is not included in the accounts of the Ministry of Health.

These new cases are in addition to the six reported so far on French territory. Patients still hospitalized even if several are better and could leave within a few days.

One of them, however, an 80-year-old Chinese patient in intensive care in Paris is “still in critical condition”, recalled on Saturday the Director-General of Health, Professor Jérôme Salomon.

Opening a toll free number

To inform the inhabitants of Haute-Savoie, a telephone number dedicated to this “cluster” has been opened: 0800 100 379 and an information meeting is to be held at 7:00 pm in Contamines-Montjoie.

At the start of the school holidays, “we set up a crisis unit at the town hall to be able to inform tourists and refer them to the toll-free number,” also explained the mayor of Contamines-Montjoie, ensuring that he there was no “special concern” at the station. No cancellation of stay has been reported to the local tourist office.

In campaign in Le Havre, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe returned to Paris for a meeting of the ministers concerned at midday, which has so far resulted in no announcement.

Health authorities, in France as in Singapore where the Briton who originated the new cases came from, are now carrying out a vast investigation to trace the source of these contaminations and check if other people could have been infected.

In England, the public health services (PHE) indicated that they were approaching “people who have been in close contact with cases confirmed in the United Kingdom for health monitoring”, while specifying “working closely with the French authorities” in the follow-up of this file.

“To inform the local population”, a press conference will take place at 2 p.m. this Saturday at the Haute-Savoie prefecture in Annecy and a specific telephone number, 0800 100 379, has been set up for those affected by this “Cluster”.

International inquiry

“It is now an important operation to identify contact cases which are starting,” recognized the Minister of Health.

According to Professor Salomon, as part of this “international investigation”, the French authorities are in close contact with their counterparts in Singapore. They are investigating, in particular, a professional meeting which took place in a hotel in the city-state from 20 to 22 January, and in which “94 foreigners” participated.

Since then, “clusters” have been reported among participants in this meeting in Malaysia and South Korea, and another case of contamination, of a person who also participated in this professional event in Singapore, was announced in the Kingdom – United, he detailed.

The new coronavirus, which appeared in December in the city of Wuhan (central China), has already infected more than 34,500 people and killed 722 patients in mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Macao), according to the latest health authorities’ report on Saturday. Chinese.

The epidemic continues to spread elsewhere in the world, with more than 320 confirmed cases of infection in around thirty countries and territories.

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