France reports 3rd death from coronavirus

LILLE: A third person has died in France of the new coronavirus, sources in northern France said Monday, confirming the death of an elderly woman in a town that already lost a man to the disease.

The woman, in her eighties, lived in Crepy-en-Valois, northeast of Paris, where the 60-year-old teacher who died last week had been working.

Tests began Monday on a total of 265 people who were in contact with him, including 185 students.

The first fatality reported in France was an 80-year-old Chinese tourist who died in hospital in Paris in mid-February.

From a handful a week ago, the number of cases of infection has risen to at least 130.

Two clusters of infection have emerged – one in the northern Oise region, where Crepy-en-Valois is located, and another in the Haute-Savoie region near the Swiss border.

The government has banned gatherings of 5,000 people or more and closed dozens of schools and cancelled religious services in some of the hardest-hit zones.

In Paris, the Louvre museum was closed for a second day running on Monday after staff again refused to work due to fears of contamination.