Passengers who arrived by bus in Lyon in southeast France Monday from Milan in Italy were kept onboard after the driver was hospitalised with symptoms similar to those caused by the new coronavirus, security sources said.

Meanwhile the Police has erected a security cordon around the bus at Lyon’s Perrache station and ordered the passengers to remain on board, a spokeswoman for the Lyon area’s public security department said.

No information was given as to how many people were on the bus.

Milan is the capital of the Lombardy region, which is at the centre of Europe’s biggest outbreak of the coronavirus that has killed nearly 2,600 people worldwide.

Five-four people have died from the disease in Italy, where villages in Lombardy have been put under lockdown.

The LyonMag news site reported that an Italian bus driver was taken to hospital for tests because he had a bad cough.

The regional health authority was not immediately available for comment.

Low-cost operator FlixBus said the bus had stopped off in the Italian city of Turin and the French city of Grenoble on the way to Lyon.

(AFP)