16-year-old among coronavirus victims as France records highest daily toll

16-year-old among coronavirus victims as France records highest daily toll

 A victim of the COVID-19 coronavirus is evacuated by stretcher from the Mulhouse Civil Hospital in eastern France on March 23, 2020. The Grand Est region has become the epicentre of the outbreak in France. (AP)

Paris: France reported its highest daily toll from the coronavirus pandemic today which included a 16-year-old girl.

French authorities said Thursday that 365 people had been killed COVID-19 over the previous 24 hours, taking the national total of those who have died in hospital to 1,696.

The figure does not include those who died from the virus at home or at retirement homes, top health official Jerome Salomon told reporters.

The teenage girl named Julie A died in Paris, becoming the youngest French victim of the disease that more often afflicts the elderly or people with underlying health conditions.

“It’s unbearable,” the girl’s mother Sabine told AFP by phone from her home in the Parisian suburbs. “We were meant to have an ordinary life.”

A week ago, Julie developed a mild cough but on Saturday she began to feel short of breath, her mother said. She underwent scans in hospital and several tests for COVID-19.

Her condition deteriorated and her death was announced on Thursday, with health officials emphasising that severe cases are very rare in young people.

“From the start, we were told that the virus doesn’t affect young people. We believed it, like everyone else,” Sabine said. Her daughter had no known underlying health problems.

France has been in lockdown since March 17 in a bid to slow the spread of the epidemic and officials have repeatedly warned it will take time for the measures to bear fruit.

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