Coronavirus: 5 Brits at ski chalet with visitor to Singapore infected

A general view shows the French Alpine resort of Les Contamines-Montjoie, France, where five British nationals including a child have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, after staying in the same ski chalet with a person who had been in Singapore on Feb 8, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS • Five British nationals, including a child, have been diagnosed with the coronavirus in France, after staying in the same ski chalet with a person who had been in Singapore, French health officials said yesterday.

The middle-aged man had attended a conference at Grand Hyatt Singapore that had been linked to at least five coronavirus cases in three countries, including Singapore.

The new cases emerged after the authorities began to retrace the recent travels of a British citizen confirmed by Britain to have contracted the virus in recent days, senior health official Jerome Salomon told a news conference.

France's Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said the group of people newly infected with the virus were not in a serious condition. She said they had formed "a cluster, a grouping around one original case" after staying in the same chalet in Contamines-Montjoie resort in Savoie in eastern France. Contamines is in the French Alps, close to the Swiss city of Geneva.

"That original case... is a British national who had returned from Singapore where he had stayed between Jan 20 and 23, and he arrived in France on Jan 24 for four days."

Two of the apartments in the ski chalet were being examined, health officials said, adding that no other people had been affected by the outbreak in the resort.

The infected Britons had been hospitalised overnight in the region, in the cities of Lyon, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne, the ministry added.

According to medical officials, the total number of people infected with the virus in France is now 11. The six others include a man in a serious condition, while the others have shown improvement in recent days.

The French government had been in touch with Singapore and Britain, and the Singapore authorities were looking into a business congress that took place in a hotel from Jan 20 to 23 and was attended by 94 foreigners, they said.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 09, 2020, with the headline Coronavirus: 5 Brits at ski chalet with visitor to Singapore infected. Subscribe