Bosnia confirms its first two cases of coronavirus

SARAJEVO (REUTERS) - Bosnia has confirmed its first two cases of the new coronavirus - a middle-aged man who recently visited Italy and his child, the health minister of Bosnia's autonomous Serb Republic said on Thursday (March 5).

Mr Alen Seranic said the man, who returned from Italy late last month, had been confirmed earlier this week as having coronavirus. He is in a stable condition and is being kept in isolation in hospital in the city of Banja Luka.

"His wife tested negative for coronavirus but his child was found positive last night," Mr Seranic told a news conference in Banja Luka.

Health authorities will test school children who have had contact with the infected child, as well as all other members of the infected family, he said. The school will be closed for the next couple of days.

"This is the first case of infection that was not unexpected, it was expected after the outbreak in Italy, which is among our biggest trade partners," Mr Seranic said.

Bosnia is divided into two regions, one dominated by Serbs and the other by Croats and Bosniak Muslims.

So far the health authorities in the two regions have prepared hospital isolation rooms and urged citizens to be particularly careful with hygiene. Many hospitals have halted or limited visits in recent days.

The global outbreak of the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China's Hubei province, in late December, has infected more than 95,000 people worldwide and killed over 3,200 in some 80 countries and territories.

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