France has identified its first case of a new strain of
coronavirus emerging from the Middle East in a person recently returned from
the United Arab Emirates, the health ministry said.
The ministry said it had opened an investigation into what
it said was the first and only confirmed case of the virus in France and would
hold a news conference later in the day."The person has been placed in
isolation in an intensive care ward," the ministry said in a statement.
WHO had no further
The Geneva-based World Health Organisation (WHO) said it had
been informed of the French case but had no further details. Worldwide, there
have been 30 laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus, including 18 deaths,
since it came to scientists' attention in September, according to WHO data.
The coronavirus is from the same viral family as the common
cold and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) virus that swept the
world from Asia in late 2003, killing 775 people. There is no evidence yet of
sustained human-to-human spread of the new virus, but there are concerns about
clusters of cases reported by the WHO in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Britain.