Macron in Paris hospital treating coronavirus

President Emmanuel Macron of France

The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, on Thursday visited a hospital in Paris that has been treating coronavirus patients.

His government has been facing pressure to show the country is dealing with the outbreak effectively.

Two persons have died from the coronavirus so far in France – an elderly Chinese tourist and a 60-year-old French national.

The 60-year old victim died this week in Paris’ Hopital Salpetriere which Macron visited on Thursday.

According to Reuters, France has been on high alert since neighbouring Italy became a new front in the global fight to contain the outbreak, and Macron is due to visit Italy later on Thursday.

The news medium said the country’s health authorities on Wednesday revealed that the second person suffering from coronavirus had died, and that a Frenchman who travelled to Italy’s Lombardy region also tested positive.

The death was one of three new cases in France this week, said Jerome Salomon, the country’s director-general of health, and an infectious disease specialist.

The country is said to have recorded 17 confirmed cases so far.

“So far it seems that people in France are taking a cautious approach to the rising number of coronavirus cases.

“They are certainly watching developments but there is no sense of panic yet, ” said Al Jazeera’s Natacha Butler, reporting from Paris.

The French government has asked citizens returning from Lombardy and the neighbouring Veneto region to avoid “all non-essential outings” and keep their children home from school.

The same advisory has been issued to people returning from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and South Korea.