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Two more doctors die from coronavirus in France : officials

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Health workers put together protection kits at the Edouard Herriot Hospital in Lyon, on March 19, 2020, three day after a strict lockdown came into effect in France to stop the spread of the COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus. – At the SAMU emergency services of the Edouard Herriot Hospital in Lyon, a first surge of calls due to the new coronavirus has finally been digested, but in spite of the solidarity and efforts made, those in charge fear the inevitable storm to come. (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / AFP)

Two more doctors have died after contracting the coronavirus in France, officials said on Monday, a day after the country reported the first death of a doctor treating COVID-19 patients.

One of the doctors, a 66-year-old gynaecologist in Mulhouse near the border with Switzerland and Germany, was infected by a patient during a consultation, according to his clinic.

The other was a 60-year-old general practitioner at a hospital in Saint-Avold near Metz, further north along the German frontier, according to the town’s mayor.

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Both died on Sunday when officials announced the death of a 67-year-old doctor who was among the first to treat coronavirus cases in the northern Oise department, which has been badly hit by the outbreak.

Health experts warn that many French hospitals are already overflowing with coronavirus cases even as the government races to set up military field hospitals to help cope with a shortage of beds.

Mulhouse has imposed its own nighttime curfew in addition to nationwide home-confinement rules seeking to curtail the virus, which has spread rapidly in France’s eastern regions.

France is also experiencing a shortfall of ventilators to care for seriously ill patients and face masks and other protective equipment for health workers.

France’s national health service reported Sunday that 674 people had died in the country so far — an increase of 112 in 24 hours.

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