French President Macron visits Paris hospital treating coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: France’s President Emmanuel Macron leaves the second day of the European Union leaders summit, held to discuss the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027, in Brussels, Belgium, February 21, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday visited a hospital in Paris that has been treating coronavirus patients, as his government faces pressure to show the country it is dealing with the outbreak effectively.

Two people have died from the coronavirus so far in France – an elderly Chinese tourist and a 60-year-old French national. That 60-year old victim died this week in Paris’ Hopital Salpetriere, which Macron visited on Thursday.

For the visit, which was kept secret in advance by the Elysee Palace, Macron was accompanied by French Health Minister Olivier Veran.

France is on high alert after neighboring Italy became a new front in the global fight to contain the outbreak, and Macron is due to visit Italy later on Thursday.

The total number of confirmed has cases in France reached 18 on Wednesday.

Reporting by Michel Rose and Richard Lough; Editing by Alex Richardson

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