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FIVE BRITISH SKIERS GO DOWN WITH CORONAVIRUS IN FRENCH ALPS

They were staying in Les Contamines and came into contact with a Briton who had been in Singapore. PlanetSKI reports.UPDATED

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One of the five is a child but none is said to be in a serious condition.

It is described as a “cluster, grouping around one original case”.

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

The Briton at the origin of the cluster has since returned to the UK.

EasyJet confirmed that the Briton flew from Geneva back to the UK on 28 January.

Health officials are trying to trace other passengers who might be at risk.

A spokeswoman said: “Public Health England is contacting all passengers who were seated in the vicinity of the customer on flight EZS8481 from Geneva to London Gatwick on 28 January, to provide guidance in line with procedures.”

The five are part of a group of 11 people and the others have been tested for coronavirus with negative results.

They are being kept under surveillance in hospitals in Lyon, Saint Etienne and Grenoble.

Seven were in one chalet and four in another.

The local health authority is disinfecting the two buildings and is searching for anyone who might have come in contact with the group.

The authorities have closed two schools this  week, both of which are attended by the child with the virus, a nine-year-old boy who lives in the resort with his family.

The nine-year-old boy attends the local school and has French classes at another school in St-Gervais.

Both schools are shut week and parents are being asked to keep their children under observation.

The ski resort has already had cancellations with holidaymakers preferring to stay away even though the authorities are issuing re-assuring messages.

Saturday was first day of the February winter break for schools in some parts of France, including the Paris.

It should be one of the busiest times of the winter for the 1,200 people who live in the village.

There are posters in the shops reminding people of the precautions to take.

A special phone number has been issued for those people with worries or questions.

Meanwhile the Mayor of nearby Chamonix, Éric Fournier,  has put out a statement.

“The Chamonix Valley is not currently affected by this virus. The National Education took, as of Saturday February 8, with the Prefecture and the Regional Health Agency, precautionary measures, since this seemed useful for the preservation of public health.”

“The municipality of Chamonix was in contact this Saturday and this Sunday with the authorities of the State, no measure is to date necessary, no school closure or other measure of confinement or removal would be useful or justified .”

“The municipality of Chamonix will keep the parents of pupils informed of any development that might occur if this were the case, and would take, in conjunction with the State, any essential decision for the preservation of the health of children and inhabitants. “

The latest outbreak brings the total number of people infected with the virus in France to 11.

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