France moves into ‘new stage of epidemic’ as number of cases rises to 57

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Source : The Local

France has now had 57 confirmed cases of coronavirus – 45 of which have been diagnosed since Tuesday. The country’s health minister on Friday said 19 more cases had been confirmed in the last 24 hours and the country was now in “stage 2” of the coronavirus epidemic.

France’s new health minister Olivier Véran confirmed on Friday night that the number of confirmed cases in France now stands at 57, all but 12 of which have been diagnosed since the major outbreak began in Italy over the weekend.

Véran said on Friday there were 19 more confirmed cases compared to the same time on Thursday.

Echoing the words of President Emmanuel Macron earlier in the day, he said: “We are preparing for an epidemic.”

He added: “We are now moving to stage two. The virus is circulating in our country and we must stop its spread.”

Existing hygiene advice – regular handwashing, using disposable tissues, covering you mouth with you elbow when you cough – remains in place, but the minister added: “I now recommend people avoid shaking hands.”

France has launched a special hotline number so worried members of the public can seek help and advice that is manned 24/7. The number is 0800 130 000. The emergency number 15 should only be used if the a member of the public believes they are suffering from a medical condition linked to coronavirus.

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