French Doctors Blame New Coronavirus Surge on North African Incomers

A doctor examines a patient at the hospital screening unit of the CHU Pellegrin in Bordeaux, southwestern France on March 9, 2020. - The CHU Pellegrin in Bordeaux has opened a screening unit for the novel coronavirus where patients are examined in a box by a team made up of …
GEORGES GOBET/AFP via Getty Images

Doctors have blamed a surge in new coronavirus cases in the southern city of Marseilles on people coming to France from North Africa.

Annie Levy-Mozziconacci and several other doctors at the North Hospital of Marseille put out a press release announcing a doubling of new cases in the last ten days.

Doctor Philippe Parola told French broadcaster LCI that he sees between one and 25 new coronavirus-positive patients every day. He added that most cases involve “people who return from travel, in areas where the epidemic is still active. For us in Marseilles, these are people who return mainly from Africa, the Maghreb [Muslim North Africa].”

Dr Levy-Mozziconacci, meanwhile, called for action from the French government to stop the new wave of infections.

“We call on local and national authorities to take responsibility so that the second city in France, a city open to the Mediterranean, a city of tourism, does not very quickly become a disaster city,” she said.

The doctors called for the government to start screening all travellers for the virus at airports and ferry terminals and asked for more human and financial resources to deal with the outbreak.

So far across France, over 170,000 people have tested positive for the Chinese virus, and over 30,000 have died as a result of it.

Foreigners spreading coronavirus has also become a major problem in Greece, where neighbouring Balkan states have been seeing a rise in cases.

Greece tightened its border with Bulgaria after 29 Bulgarian citizens crossed into Greece at the town of Promachonas and tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month.

Greek authorities also caught criminals attempting to sell forged medical certificates to travellers in order to help them get into Greece, a problem that Italy has also seen with respect to travellers coming to their country from Bangladesh.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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