PARIS (AP) — French authorities on Thursday reported twenty new cases of people infected with the new virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total in the country to 38, including two deaths.
The jump in figures prompted concern as French President Emmanuel Macron warned earlier that the country was bracing for an epidemic.
The head of France’s national health agency, Jerome Salomon, said 24 people were in hospital Thursday, while 12 others have been cured.
French health authorities have found that 12 of the new patients, including three working on a military base, are all connected to two previous cases in the Oise region, north of Paris: a 60-year-old Frenchman who died this week and another Frenchman who is in intensive care in the northern city of Amiens. French authorities are still trying to determine how they contracted the virus since they did not travel to a risk zone.
The man who died this week was a teacher in a middle school in the Oise region. He had not been in contact with schoolchildren for the past two weeks.