PARIS, March 3 (Xinhua) -- An elderly Frenchman diagnosed with COVID-19 died on Tuesday, bringing the coronavirus death toll to four in France, where confirmed cases rose in the last 24 hours to 212, said Health General Director Jerome Salomon on Tuesday evening.
Among the confirmed cases, 152 are part of a chain of transmission, 47 returned from virus-hit zones, while 21 cases are under investigation to determine the cause, Salomon told reporters at the daily briefing.
Thirteen regions have been affected. The largest clusters were reported in l'Oise, north France and Haute-Savoie near the Italian border, where 20 cases had been confirmed in each department, he added.
"In France, we are still in stage two with the aim of curbing the spread of the virus," Salomon said.
The stage two of the epidemic, which means an epidemiological mosaic with different situations at the regional level, "will last for weeks and even months," warned President Emmanuel Macron, during a visit to the health ministry's crisis center early Tuesday.
"It's essential to show clarity, resilience and determination to slow down and fight against the epidemic. We are ready. I know that we have the strength to meet this challenge," said Macron.