France confirms first three cases of coronavirus

2020-01-25 18:04:58

France has declared its first three confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus, with two patients being hospitalised in Paris and the other in the southwestern city of Bordeaux.

French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said during a press conference these were the first cases in Europe, adding it was likely other cases would arise in the country.

Australia has also confirmed its first case of the virus.

China has declared another 15 deaths from the virus, bringing the total fatalities to 41 - all from the Hubei province.

The authorities have suspended all travel in ten cities in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, reports from Britain show that tests for the virus on a patient at Victoria Hospital in Belfast have come back negative.

It is understood the patient arrived at the Royal Victoria last weekend with what appeared to be symptoms, but the coronavirus has now been ruled out.

Elsewhere, a further 14 people tested for coronavirus in the UK have been given the all-clear, but checks are ongoing on other people, the Chief Medical Officer for England has said.

All the people tested in the UK had visited Wuhan, the Chinese city where the outbreak originated.

Four out five patients tested in Scotland were Chinese nationals.

China shut part of the Great Wall and suspended public transport in ten cities in an effort to contain the outbreak.

The move stranded millions of people at the start of the Lunar New Year holiday as authorities rush to contain a virus that has killed 26 people and infected more than 800.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the new coronavirus an "emergency in China" but stopped short of declaring it of international concern.

Wuhan, a city of 11 million at the center of the outbreak, is in virtual lockdown. Nearly all flights at Wuhan's airport have been cancelled and checkpoints block the main roads leading out of town.

As the city slides into isolation, pharmacies have begun to run out of supplies and hospitals have been flooded with nervous residents.