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    First coronavirus confirmed in the Netherlands

    The first confirmed Dutch case is a man who had recently travelled to northern Italy. © Belga

    The first confirmed case of the new coronavirus has been confirmed in the Netherlands, a patient which officials said had recently been in northern Italy.

    Dutch Minister for Medical Care Bruno Bruins said it was a 56-year-old man who had tested positive for the virus upon his return from Lombardy, the epicentre of the fast-paced Italian outbreak.

    Bruins said the man was put in isolation in a hospital in Tilburg, a city some 30 kilometres north of the Flemish city of Turnhout.

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    Health authorities are working to identify the people who could have come in contact with the man, following reports that he recently participated in the carnival festivities in Tilburg.

    The Dutch institute for public health said that once identified, the people who have come in contact with the coronavirus patient are closely monitored and that they “must take their temperature twice a day,” and report it to authorities.

    Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he was working with Bruins and health officials and discussing “all the efforts that have been made to prepare our country for this.”

    News of the confirmed Dutch case comes as Nigeria, Lithuania and New Zealand all confirmed their first cases of the new coronavirus, Covid-19, on Thursday and Friday.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times