France’s first known COVID-19 case was in December: Report

Paris, (Samajweekly) A patient diagnosed with pneumonia near Paris on December 27, 2019 actually had the novel coronavirus, the media reported on Tuesday citing his doctor as saying.

Yves Cohen, head of emergency medicine at Avicenne and Jean-Verdier hospitals near Paris, told the media that the patient was a 43-year-old man from Bobigny, north-east of Paris, reports the BBC.

Cohen said that the patient was exhibiting what later became to be known as the main symptoms of coronavirus, including a dry cough, fever and trouble breathing.

He was hospitalised on December 27, 2019, four days before the World Health Organization’s China country office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause being detected in the city of Wuhan.

The French patient told French broadcaster BFMTV that he had not travelled before falling sick.

Cohen said two of the patient’s children had fallen ill but that the wife had not shown any symptoms.

But the doctore pointed out that the patient’s wife worked at a supermarket near Charles de Gaulle airport and could have come into contact with people who had recently arrived from China.

“We’re wondering whether she was asymptomatic,” the BBC quoted Cohen as saying, while he called for the potential link to be investigated further.

Until now, the country’s first three cases of coronavirus were confirmed on January 24.

Of those, two had been to Wuhan, where the pandemic originated also last December, and the third was a close family member.

As of Tuesday, France reported 169,583 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 25,204 deaths.