French health minister: there is credible risk of coronavirus pandemic

French health minister: there is credible risk of coronavirus pandemic

New French health minister Olivier Veran said there is a "credible risk" China’s coronavirus outbreak could turn into a pandemic, spreading across the world.

"This is both a working assumption and a credible risk," Veran told France Info radio.

He said France was ready to deal with all the possibilities and its health system was sufficiently robust and well-equipped, Reuters reported.

Four patients who tested positive for the virus remained in hospital in France, Veran added. An 80-year-old Chinese tourist died from the coronavirus in France last week, the first fatality in Europe.

The death toll in China has climbed to 1,868 today.

According to the World Health Organization, a pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease.

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