Woman in Barcelona tests positive to coronavirus, the first confirmed case on mainland Spain

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Woman in Barcelona tests positive to coronavirus, the first confirmed case on mainland Spain
COVID-19 coronavirus is seen in yellow, emerging from cells (in blue and pink) cultured in the lab. This image is from a scanning electron microscope. NIAID-RML

Catalonia’s regional health department reports that a woman in Barcelona has tested positive to Covid-19, becoming the first case of the coronavirus to be confirmed on mainland Spain.


The woman, who is a resident in Catalonia and had recently returned from a trip to northern Italy, has been admitted in Barcelona’s Hospital Clinic where she is being treated in isolation.

Authorities said she was 36-year-old Italian citizen living in Barcelona who visited the Bergamo and Milan area of northern Italy between February 12th and 22nd.

At a press conference, Joan Guix the secretary of public health in the region said the patient had contacted health authorities on Monday evening after experiencing flu-like symptoms. A subsequent test confirmed the coronavirus. 

"We have already identified all those she may have been in contact with and they are being assessed. and are being assessed," he said. adding that the 25 identified contacts would stay at home in isolation for a total of 14 days under epidemiological surveillance, undergoring regular testing for the virus.

The Generalitat said it has “activated coronavirus protocol” to deal with the case but urged calm. 

Guic reminded the public that "80 of the cases (of coronavirus) were classified as minor, only 15 percent are serious and just 2 percent critical," he said. 

Those who are at most risk from the virus are the elderly and those with  pre-existing medical conditions, he said.

The news comes a day after an Italian man tested positive for the virus on the Canary Island of Tenerife, where the hotel in which he is staying has been put on lock down. His wife also tested postive on Tuesday afternoon, authorities in the Canary Islands confirmed bringing the total  number of confirmed cases within Spain to five.

Two other patients who have subsequently  been given the all clear-  one on the Canary Island of La Gomera and the other in Mallorca - and discharged from  hospital.



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