March 3, 2020 / 6:12 PM / a month ago

France reports fourth coronavirus death, requisitions masks

PARIS (Reuters) - A fourth person has died due to coronavirus infection in France, and President Emmanuel Macron warned the health crisis could last several months.

“During the period we are going through and that we will go through - because we have entered a phase that will last weeks even possibly months - it is paramount to show clarity, resilience, nerves and determination to slow the epidemic...and then fight it,” Macron told a crisis cell at the Health Ministry.

Health Minister Olivier Veran told parliament earlier that France now has 204 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection, up from 191 on Monday.

The fourth victim was a 92-year-old man in the Morbihan department in the western region of Brittany.

Macron has also signed a decree to requisition all stock and production of protective face masks.

They will be distributed to health professionals and people infected with the coronavirus, Macron said on his website.

Reporting by GV De Clercq; Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Alison Williams, William Maclean

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