France declares coronavirus an ‘epidemic that is on the way’ in stark warning

France has warned coronavirus is an "epidemic that is on the way" as the killer virus continues to spread around the world claiming lives.

The country's President Emmanual Macron issued the horrendous warning as he described an impending "crisis" while speaking with doctors at a Paris hospital today.

The killer Covid-19 has spread to every continent, except Antarctica, after reportedly originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan, with the death toll now at nearly 30,000 of 80,000 confirmed cases.

Macron's dire warning for his own country could spell disaster for the UK, which is France's neighbour.

Already, there have been 15 confirmed cases over here, while a number of schools have closed due to either suspected cases or pupils visiting regions that have had a large number of infections.

UK health secretary Matt Hancock has hinted Britain is preparing for a more serious outbreak after announcing the NHS will look at extending home-testing to greatly increase the number of people who can be screened for the virus.

Public Health England has put the new system in place in eight NHS hospitals across the country while around 100 primary care sites, such as GP surgeries, will also participate in the new scheme.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also declared Covid-19 an international emergency – the most serious declaration can make.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the time: "The main reason for this decision is not because of what is happening in China – but because of what is happening in other countries.

"Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems, and which are ill-prepared to deal with it.

"Let me be clear. This declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China. On the contrary, WHO continues to have confidence in China's capacity to control the outbreak."

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He added: "This is the time for facts, not fear. This is time for science, not rumours. This is the time for solidarity, not stigma."

England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has confirmed there are a number of contingency plans in place for a large-scale outbreak.

These would include closing schools, limiting public transport and quarantining while families.

  • NHS
  • World Health Organisation
  • China

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