The deadly coronavirus has forced Paris to cancel a Lunar New Year parade as a “precaution.
The parade supposed to hold today, but mayor Anne Hidalgo said announced it won’t because the city is already home to two of the three French people that had taken ill in China’s coronavirus outbreak.
“Yesterday, I met members of the Chinese community in Paris who themselves wished to cancel the procession.
“The principle of precaution takes precedence,” the mayor told reporters.
Recall that France’s health ministry had on Friday said three people who had recently traveled to China were confirmed to have contracted the virus — the first cases in Europe.
One was a patient at a hospital in the southwestern city of Bordeaux and the other two in the capital. All three were “very well”, according to France’s director-general of health Jerome Salomon.
Health officials were also tracking other people the three had been in contact with.
The Lunar New Year, which is referred to Chinese New Year, marks the beginning of the new year on the traditional Chinese calendar started on Saturday.
However, celebrations in China were dramatically scaled down amid a coronavirus outbreak that has killed 56 and infected nearly 2,000.
Hidalgo did not specify whether other New Year’s celebrations planned for the coming days would also be called off. The celebration includes the yearly procession in Paris’ so-called Asian quarter.
“We were informed of the cancellation of the festivities last night,” said Pierre Ducerf, a representative of the Franco-Chinese Association.
Celebrations planned for Bordeaux on Sunday were also cancelled.