The first case of the novel coronavirus in the Netherlands was detected on Thursday, in a patient who had travelled to northern Italy, the worst hit area in Europe, the national public health institute announced.
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.
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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.