Coronavirus: Five Brits in French ski resort catch virus

Coronavirus: Five Brits in French ski resort catch virus

Britons catch virus at French ski resort

Five British nationals including a child caught coronavirus at a ski chalet in France. During their stay at the Contamines-Montjoie resort in Savoie, the group came in contact with another British national who had recently been in Singapore, French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn said Saturday. 

Health officials said two apartments at the resort were being examined and that the infected were staying at a hospital in the region and were in good condition. 

The group have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus at a mountain resort in France, after staying in the same chalet with a person who had been in Singapore, French health officials said on Saturday (February 8).

The group of people newly infected with the virus, who include a child, are not in a serious condition, French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said.

The nine-year-old boy attends the local school and has French classes at another school in St-Gervais. Both schools will be shut next week, and parents are being asked to keep their children under observation.

A crisis unit has been set up as a result of the new cases.

Two schools near the resort in eastern France’s Savoie will be shut next week as authorities try to determine with whom those infected had been in contact, a regional health official said.

Eleven Britons, including the five who tested positive for the virus, are being examined in local hospitals.

The Four adults and a child who were diagnosed with the virus after coming into contact with a British national who recently returned from Singapore.

It is thought this man returned to the UK on 28 January before being diagnosed with the virus himself on Thursday.

The five Britons, who stayed in the same ski chalet, were not in a serious condition, French officials said.

French authorities are closing two schools next week attended by the child with the virus, a nine-year-old boy who lives in the ski resort of Contamines-Montjoie with his family.

There have been almost 35,000 cases of the coronavirus globally, mostly in China. The latest incident stems from a man who became the UK’s third confirmed case when he tested positive on his return to Brighton.

What’s happening globally?

Coronavirus latest: First non-Chinese deaths reported

An American and a Japanese citizen have died after suffering coronavirus symptoms, marking the first non-Chinese deaths since the outbreak began.

Latest figures

Global health authorities have reported 34,800 cases of coronavirus worldwide. The vast majority of cases are in mainland China, where there are confirmed 34,546 infections.

The virus has killed 722 people in China, including two foreigners. Most of the deaths have been in the central Hubei province, where the virus was first detected.

3,399 new cases were reported over a 24-hour period in China as well as another 86 deaths, Chinese health authorities said Saturday.

Another last-minute hospital

A second makeshift hospital opened in Wuhan, the city at the center of the Coronavirus outbreak, on Saturday. The Leishenshan hospital has 32 wards with a total of 1,500 beds and a surgical operating room. A first medical crew arrived Saturday morning. Patients were due to follow later in the day.

The city is rapidly converting buildings into hospitals to deal with the high number of coronavirus infections. A first provisional hospital with 1,000 beds had opened on Monday after a rapid, 10-day construction phase.

As of Saturday, the province had 24,953 diagnosed cases of coronavirus. Coronavirus has killed 699 people in Hubei province.

First non-Chinese deaths

The US embassy reported Saturday thata 60-year-old US citizen who had contracted coronavirus died in Wuhan on Thursday, the first non-Chinese patient known to succumb to the infection.

A Japanese man in Wuhan also died after showing symptoms consistent with the virus, Japan’s foreign ministry confirmed, though the cause of death was listed as viral pneumonia due to difficulties in diagnosing the disease.

Cruise ship crisis 

A cruise ship stuck at the port of Yokohama in Japan began its fourth day of quarantine on Saturday. Three more people aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the infection, Japan’s health ministry said, bringing the total confirmed cases on board to 64, including one critical case. A passenger who had disembarked the ship in January later tested positive for coronavirus. 

Around 3,700 international passengers and crew are currently stranded on the ship. They may not be allowed to disembark until February 19 at the earliest.

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