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First Case Of New COVID-19 Variant Found In France As Cases Rise

France recorded its first case of the new variant of coronavirus, as the number of cases and deaths from COVID-19 mounted in the country, increasing concerns of a new wave of the virus hitting the euro zone’s second-biggest economy.

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The French health ministry said a Frenchman who recently arrived back in France from London had tested positive for the new variant of the coronavirus.

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The ministry said the case – the first in France – had been found in the city of Tours. The man in question arrived from London on Dec. 19. He was currently self-isolating and felt alright, the ministry added.

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British Health Secretary Matt Hancock had said on Dec. 14 that a spike in COVID cases in the United Kingdom might have been linked to the new variant of the virus in the country.

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Hancock said more than 1,000 cases of the new variant had been identified, mainly in southeastern England.

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Countries around the world have in recent days closed their borders to both Britain and South Africa following the identification of cases of the new, fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus in those countries.

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France registered 20,262 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases and 159 more related deaths in hospitals in the last 24 hours.

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France’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases now stands at 2,547,771 while its COVID-19 death toll stands at 62,427 – the seventh-highest in the world.

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