France confirms first case of new coronavirus that emerged in UK recently

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France (Image:
France (Image:

France : France has confirmed its first case of new coronavirus strain that recently emerged in the UK.

The new version of coronavirus is believed to be more contagious and forced more than 50 countries to impose a travel ban.

The first case in France is of a man who used to live in London and had arrived on December 19. He is asymptomatic and is currently in self-quarantine at home in Tours in central France, the ministry said late Friday.

The man was tested on December 21 and later was found positive for a new strain of coronavirus.

Health authorities are now doing contact-tracing to ensure that everyone who was in contact of the person gets isolated.

In addition to this first case, several other positive samples that "may suggest the VOC 202012/01 variant are being sequenced" by the specialist laboratories of the national Pasteur Institute, the statement added.

Earlier, France closed its borders for international travellers coming from UK. Following the snap 48-hour ban this week, France had reopened its borders to the UK -- partly to allow French citizens to return home, as well as to relieve the massive build-up of freight goods -- but had instituted a testing policy.