G7 ministers to discuss coronavirus Monday: France

G7 ministers to discuss coronavirus Monday: France

The health ministers of the Group of Seven countries will on Monday discuss a joint response to the coronavirus epidemic, France's health ministry told AFP.

They will hold talks via a telephone conference at 1400 GMT, it said.

Germany's Health Minister Jens Spahn said Sunday he had talked on the phone with his US counterpart and "we agreed that there should be a conference call, a discussion by G7 health ministers about this question with the aim of dealing with it together".

Spahn added: "There is no point in each country deciding on measures alone".

The G7 comprises rich nations Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

An outbreak of coronavirus, detected late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has since spread to more than 24 countries.

By Monday, the death toll had hit 362, with the first fatality outside of China reported in the Philippines at the weekend.

More than 17,000 people across China have been infected, with scores of other cases reported in over 20 countries.

Italian Health Minister Roberto Sperenza said Monday the outbreak must be tackled "on a global scale".

"It is very important because each country for the moment is organising itself autonomously, while what we need is for the actions to be shared... by the international organisations," he said.

Last Thursday, Italy announced the suspension of all flights to and from China as a precautionary measure.

The United States has since Sunday banned foreign nationals from visiting if they have been in China recently, and has warned its citizens against travelling there.

France was the first European country to register a case of coronavirus infection after the outbreak started.

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