Paris (AFP)

Two new coronavirus contaminations were confirmed on Tuesday in France, a young Chinese woman returning from China and a Frenchman who had stayed in Lombardy (Italy), when questions intensified on the government's strategy to contain the epidemic .

"We have two new cases this evening," announced the Director General of Health, Professor Jérôme Salomon, at a press conference.

They bring the total number of cases registered in France to 14 since the start of the new coronavirus crisis: these two new cases are in addition to 11 patients who have been declared cured and are no longer hospitalized, as well as one 80-year-old Chinese man who died in mid-February in Paris.

The 13th case is "a young Chinese woman returned from China on February 7, who is hospitalized in Paris" for simple "surveillance" and who "is doing very well," said number two of the Ministry of Health.

The young woman tested negative for the new coronavirus but was a carrier of "traces of healing," he said.

As for the 14th case, it is "a French man returning from a stay in Lombardy and who is currently hospitalized in Auvergne-Rhône Alpes", a region bordering Italy, added the official.

- No border closures -

"In France we always have the same strategy, to slow down the introduction of the virus and prevent its spread," said Jérôme Salomon.

For his part, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran, who said in the morning on RTL that the coronavirus "is on our doorstep", confirmed at the end of a meeting in the afternoon in Rome with several of his European colleagues that France, like the other neighboring countries of Italy, did not intend to close the borders because it would be a disproportionate measure.

Likewise, the authorities have so far dismissed the cancellation of the Champions League match scheduled for Lyon on Wednesday between OL and Juventus Turin. Especially because the region of bianconeri, Piedmont, is not affected for the moment by the virus.

"The risk of an epidemic requires perfect coordination and transparent information: this is what we do", defended for his part Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, challenged by the oppositions on the measures implemented by the government.

The deputy LR of the Alpes-Maritimes Eric Ciotti criticized "a delay in the lighting on behalf of the health authorities", while Marine Le Pen again demanded Tuesday controls of the borders.

"What interests us is the safety of the French, it is not the gossip of Ms. Le Pen," replied Olivier Véran, saying that "the controversies are futile, I even tend to think that they do not are not worthy at a time when health professionals (...) are extremely mobilized to avoid contamination and prevent people from getting sick ".

The question was even invited in the municipal battle in Paris, giving rise to a passing of arms between the outgoing mayor Anne Hidalgo (PS) and the ex-Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn, become her rival.

The new candidate for LREM in the capital said on Monday that her former ministry had "had no contact with the town hall of Paris" to anticipate a possible epidemic, an assertion strongly denied by Anne Hidalgo, exchanges of letters in support .

The Secretary of State for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, also stated that the French were "invited" to postpone as far as possible their trips to the regions of Italy most affected by the new coronavirus, before its entourage did not specify that it referred to Italian municipalities subject to containment, and which are therefore already subject to traffic restrictions.

© 2020 AFP