Norway, Romania detect first case of coronavirus

Area director Geir Bukholm and department director Line Vold of the Institute of Public Health hold a coronavirus press conference.
Area director Geir Bukholm and department director Line Vold of the Institute of Public Health hold a coronavirus press conference.PHOTO: AFP

OSLO/BUCHAREST (REUTERS) - Norway and Romania on Wednesday (Feb 26) confirmed their first case of coronavirus.

Norway's Public Health Agency (FHI) said one person had tested positive for coronavirus and was being kept isolated at home.

The person had returned from China late last week, but did not appear ill and was unlikely to infect others, the agency said.

"This person is not showing symptoms but... was tested after returning from the region of China where the outbreak began," FHI director Line Vold told a news conference.

In Bucharest,  Health Minister Victor Costache said his country's first case was detected in a man from the southern county of Gorj.

"The man had been in direct contact with an Italian citizen who travelled to Romania earlier this month," Mr Costache told reporters. "He is in a good condition and will be transferred to a Bucharest infectious hospital."

Mr Costache said all seven members of the man’s family tested negative.

The number of new infections inside China - the source of the outbreak - was for the first time overtaken by those elsewhere on Wednesday as the virus spread to a growing number of countries.

The disease has infected about 80,000 people and killed more than 2,700, the vast majority in China.

Europe’s biggest outbreak is in Italy, which has reported more than 400 cases, while the death toll there has risen to 12 since last Friday.