The novel coronavirus first appeared in France on December 27, 2019, said Yves Cohen, an intensive care chief of a hospital in Paris, in an interview with local media on Sunday.
Staff members of a private cleaning and disinfection company disinfect metro trains in Vincennes near Paris, France, April 30, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
He said his medical team revisited test results of 24 patients with respiratory infections and tested negative for flu and other kinds of coronavirus in December and January, among them a male patient showed positive for COVID-19.
The patient, he added, was tested in hospital on December 27, a month before the first French cases were confirmed.
As of Monday, France has reported more than 168,000 cases of COVID-19 with 24,898 deaths nationwide.