A sign reading "shortage of FFP2 protective face mask, chirurgical face mask and alcohol hand sanitising gel" is seen at a pharmacy in Dieppe, northeastern France, March 4, 2020. COVID-19 cases in France rose to 285 on Wednesday, up by 73 from a day earlier, Health General Director Jerome Salomon said at a daily briefing over the novel coronavirus outbreak. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)
PARIS, March 4 (Xinhua) -- COVID-19 cases in France rose to 285 on Wednesday, up by 73 from a day earlier, Health General Director Jerome Salomon said at a daily briefing over the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Death toll from the disease stayed at four, while 15 patients are being treated in intensive care, according to the senior official of the French Health Ministry.
Most of the new cases were detected as a result of the identification of so-called "contact people" of identified clusters, said the official.
Of all the cases, 172 patients are part of an identified chain of infection, while 52 were infected during their trips to affected countries. Investigations to trace the chain of infection of another 65 are still underway.
Salomon reiterated the government's determination to curb the spread of the virus and protect the non-affected areas by adopting measures in line with the situation of each region.
President Emmanuel Macron will meet on Thursday afternoon a group of doctors, scientists and laboratory chiefs at the Elysee Palace to discuss the virus outbreak and ways to contain its fast spread, according to the presidential office.