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Confirmed COVID-19 cases climb to 38 in France

Published : 28 Feb 2020, 01:00

  DF-Xinhua Report

File Photo Xinhua.

With 20 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in a day, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in France has increased to 38, Health Minister Olivier Veran announced on Thursday evening.

   "Several investigations are in progress, likely to make this tally increase by tomorrow," Veran told a press conference.

   A group of 12 individuals tested positive for the COVID-19 in the northern region of Hauts de France, who were linked to two patients -- one of them died on Tuesday. Three of the new cases were found in a military base in Creil. Another two are elderly people who returned from a group trip to Egypt, according to the minister.

   "We are ready for an epidemic," he said, noting that 138 hospitals across the country were prepared to receive and treat patients.

   Of the 38 cases that France has confirmed since the end of January, two people had died, 12 have recovered and 24 remain hospitalized including two in serious condition.

   Earlier on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron warned that the coronavirus epidemic is "on its way", pledging to "deal with it as best we can".

   "We know that we are only at the beginning. We will try with all the healthcare professionals to make the right decisions," he said, stressing the need for "transparent information" to address a crisis "without creating unjustified panic."