Coronavirus: What we know about Spain’s first case

Coronavirus: What we know about Spain’s first case
Photo: AFP
Spain confirmed the country's first case of coronavirus on Friday after a German tourist was diagnosed on the remote island of La Gomera in the Canary islands.

He is one of a group of six people taken into observation on the island and isolated on Thursday after it was found some of them had come into contact with a man diagnosed with the virus in Germany, Spain’s Ministry of Health said.

The man who tested positive for the virus is “recovering well” at the island’s Nuestra Señora de GuadalupeHospital, said Fernando Simón,  of the Centre for Coordination of Health Emergencies at Spain’s Ministry of Health, on Sunday.

He explained that the patient had recently arrived on the island by plane via Tenerife and authorities were confident they had identified those people who he may have come into contact with who are considered most at risk of contagion.

This included people who had come into close contact with the diagnosed man, such as at a cafeteria on the island. Those considered to be at risk had been identified and told to report to medical authorities if they start to feel any symptoms.

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Around 15 to 20 people were therefore being monitored both in La Gomera and Tenerife in case they showed any symptoms, although so far none had been reported.

But Simón urged calm, explaining that the patient had been on the island a very short time before being isolated so the risk of mass contagion was low.

However, those who had been in contact with him on the plane over had yet to be identified – something that would happen by Monday – but only those who were seat in the rows directly in front and behind the patient were considered at risk.

Canary Island authorities set up a dedicated free information line – 900 112 061- for those who believe they may be suffering symptoms or want advice about the coronavirus.

A suspected case of coronavirus in a boy of eight in Barcelona was discounted on Monday after tests came back negative.

There are 21 Spanish nationals currently under quarantine in a hospital in Madrid after being repatriated from Wuhan in China.

None of the repatriated Spaniards have exhibited symptoms of the virus, but will remain quarantined at the Gómez Ulla military hospital in Madrid and held under observation for 14 days, the health ministry said.

The World Health Organization declared the epidemic an international emergency on Thursday, with cases confirmed in nearly 20 countries, including the United States, Britain and Germany.

In all over 17,000 people have been infected by the virus with the number of dead having climbed above 362 on Monday.

The mortality rate of coronavirus is hovering around the 2 percent mark, much lower than the 9.6 percent mortality rate during the SARS outbreak in 2002/03.

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