No further details about the fatality has been offered by the minister, who made the announcement on Sunday. Local media said the victim was an emergency doctor from Compiegne, a region of France hit badly by the pandemic. The medic reportedly died shortly after being transported to Lille.

France has almost 15,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 562 deaths reported so far. While not hit as hard as other European nations, like Italy and Spain, the country is struggling with its response.

Part of the problem is a nationwide shortage of medical masks, which drew anger from some frontline responders like doctors and police officers, who need to wear them on duty as best practice but especially for the protection of the vulnerable people they interact with.

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