France has banned public gatherings of more than 5,000 people over concerns involving the potentially deadly coronavirus, the country’s top health official announced Saturday.

“All public gatherings of more than 5,000 people in a confined space are temporarily banned across France,” said French Health Minister Olivier Veran, as reported by Reuters.

The restriction means happenings such as sporting events and concerts are likely to be called off as the country aims to keep the infectious coronavirus from spreading further.

Sixteen new cases of the coronavirus have been reported in France, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the country up to 73, Reuters reported.

Internationally, more than 83,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed across over 50 countries since its discovery in December, The World Health Organization said Friday.



More than 2,800 people who have contracted the dangerous respiratory disease have since died, the World Health Organization reported.

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