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 â€œclose contactâ€ 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.
â€œI am in direct contact with (Health Minister) Bruno Bruins, among others, on the measures taken to prepare our country for this,â€ Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Twitter, adding that he hoped the patient would make a recovery.
The man concerned had visited Italyâ€™s Lombardy region. Several towns in northern Italy have been placed in quarantine.