First case of COVID-19 confirmed in the Netherlands

First case of COVID-19 confirmed in the Netherlands

Dutch hospital
An exterior view of the Elisabeth TweeSteden Hospital in Tilburg, Netherlands, where a patient with the first confirmed case of COVID-19 is being cared for. (Rob Engelaar/ANP/AFP)

THE HAGUE: The first case of coronavirus in the Netherlands was detected on Thursday (Feb 27), in a patient who had travelled to northern Italy, the worst hit area in Europe, the national public health institute announced.

READ: Anxious Italy looks to play down COVID-19 risk as new cases rise

Individuals who have been in "close contact" with the man have been tested and the patient placed in isolation in a hospital in the southern town of Tilburg, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) said.

The public health body advised everyone in the country to be careful to avoid more infections.

"I am in direct contact with (Health Minister) Bruno Bruins, among others, on the measures taken to prepare our country for this," Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Twitter, adding that he hoped the patient would make a recovery.

The man concerned had visited Italy's Lombardy region. Several towns in northern Italy have been placed in quarantine.

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Source: AFP/de