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5 Britons contract coronavirus at French ski resort

Five British nationals, including a nine-year-old child, have been diagnosed with the coronavirus in France, after staying in the same ski chalet and coming into contact with a person who had been in Singapore, Health Minister Agnès Buzyn said on Saturday.

Those infected hospitalized overnight in eastern France

A general view shows the French Alpine resort of Les Contamines-Montjoie, where five British nationals, including a child, were diagnosed with the coronavirus, after staying in the same ski chalet with a person who had been to Singapore. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

Five British nationals, including a nine-year-old child, have been diagnosed with the coronavirus in France, after staying in the same ski chalet and coming into contact with a person who had been in Singapore, Health Minister Agnès Buzyn said on Saturday.

The total number of people infected with the virus in France has now reached 11.

Buzyn said the group of people newly infected with the virus were not in a serious condition.

They had formed "a cluster, a grouping around one original case" after staying in the same chalet, in the Contamines-Montjoie resort in Savoie in eastern France.

"That original case was brought to our attention last night, it is a British national who had returned from Singapore where he had stayed between January 20 and 23, and he arrived in France on January 24 for four days," Buzyn said.

Two of the apartments in the ski chalet were being examined, another health official told the televised news conference.

2 schools closed

The chalet where they were staying housed a British family that lives in Contamines and another family of British vacationers. The sickened child lives in Contamines and attends a local school, and took French classes at another local school, regional officials told a news conference Saturday. Both schools will be closed, and the pupils will be monitored for signs of the virus.

The infected Britons had been hospitalized overnight in the region, the ministry added.

The virus has killed more than 720 people and infected over 34,500 since late December, mostly in China's Hubei province and elsewhere across mainland China.

With files from The Associated Press

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