Amid coronavirus outbreak, almost 2,000 surgical masks have been reported stolen from a hospital in the southern French city of Marseille. According to the French health authorities, the masks were pilfered from a part of Conception hospital which is only accessible to staff and patients who have undergone surgery. The authorities further said that they have launched an internal investigation to find the culprits.
The news of theft came after French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the authorities would requisition all face mask stocks and production in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The 2,000 maks also assured that the hospital had enough masks to continue operations as normal they were also reserved for coronavirus patients and health professionals. The hospital authorities reportedly had also ordered more and taken steps to secure its stock of both masks and sanitising gels.
So far, France has reported 204 coronavirus cases and three deaths in total. France Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer on March 3 reportedly said that the authorities have closed almost 120 schools in areas that have reported the largest numbers of coronavirus infections. According to international media reports, both primary and secondary schools have been shut in the Oise department north of Paris as the main cluster of French cases had emerged in the area.
As per a French local media outlet, the Oise closures affects approximately 35,000 people. Additional 9,000 people have also been told to stay in the Morbihan department of Brittany on the Atlantic coast. Furthermore, a class of around 20 students have also been suspended in Montreuil after a person was tested positive for the deadly virus.
Last week, the French finance minister also said that the new coronavirus is a 'game-changer' that will require a rethink of global supply networks, especially in the health, medicine and auto industries. He further also said that the outbreak has further highlighted an 'irresponsible and unreasonable' reliance on China. Furthermore, the minister added that the virus would also affect global and European growth and have an impact on travel.