Coronavirus mystery: Three cases in Spain from patients who haven’t left country

The Spanish Health Ministry has confirmed two patients in Madrid and one in Seville have been diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus. The three patients were initially hospitalised for pneumonia and to their knowledge had not been in contact with anyone who has travelled to China or Italy, which is Europe’s worst affected country. Two of the patients, including a 77-year-old man, are being treated at the Torrejón de Ardoz in the Spanish capital.

A 62-year-old man is being cared for at the Virgen del Rocío Hospital in Seville, which is located 347 miles from Madrid.

The number of known cases of coronavirus in Spain has now increased to 23.

Fernando Simón, director of the Centre for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, said the latest health advise would not be changed but would be assessed by the hour.

Mr Simón said: “We are in a containment scenario.

“We do not have uncontrolled community transmission and we do not have massive entries of imported cases that could imply a broad transmission.

“We have to be very careful and assess hour by hour how the situation evolves both outside Spain and inside our country and, before changing the risk appreciation or the measures, we will inform you.”

On the Spanish Island of Tenerife, nearly 700 holidaymakers remain stranded as they enter day four of a two week quarantine period.

A huge number of tourists remain despite the Canary Islands regional Government permitting hundreds to leave the Island.

On Friday authorities cleared 45 guests to leave the hotel after allowing 130 others to leave the facility on Thursday.

Mr Simón said allowing guests to leave was a “complicated process” as it required communication with officials from around the world.

The latest World Health Organisation (WHO) figures reveal more than 82,000 people have been infected globally.

China accounts for more than 80,000 cases with more than 2,700 deaths.

Outside of China there has been 57 deaths across 46 other countries.

The number of confirmed cases in Italy now stands at 888 – with 21 deaths.

In Germany there are 60 confirmed cases and 57 cases in France – with two deaths.

In the UK a 20th person has been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said it was not yet clear if the virus had been passed on from somebody who had recently travelled abroad.


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The news comes after a British man became the first UK citizen to die from coronavirus.

The man, who was on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan was the sixth person from the vessel to have died.

(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega)

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