Germany confirms first case of coronavirus

Main entrance of hospital ‘Klinikum Schwabing’ in Munich, Germany. (AP pic)

BERLIN: Germany has declared its first confirmed case of the coronavirus that broke out in China, raising concerns about the spreading of the flu-like virus after the death toll in China climbed to 106.

Bavaria’s health ministry said late on Monday that a man in the town of Starnberg, 30km southwest of Munich, had been confirmed as suffering from the virus.

The patient is in “good condition” and isolated under medical observation, the ministry in the southern state said in a statement posted on its website.

It did not disclose any details of the patient’s age or nationality.

“People who have been in contact (with the patient) have been informed in detail about possible symptoms, hygiene measures and transmission channels,” the ministry said.

It will hold a news conference at 10am.

The virus, that broke out in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of last year, has thus far killed 106 people, infected over 2,800 others, stranded tens of millions during the big Lunar New Year holiday and rattled global markets.

Cases linked to people who travelled from Wuhan have been confirmed in a dozen countries, from Japan to the United States but no fatalities outside China have been reported.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said he was not surprised the virus had reached Germany but the case in Bavaria showed how well prepared the authorities were.

He said the authorities were doing everything possible to stop the spread of the virus.

“The risk to the health of people in Germany from the new respiratory disease from China remains low,” he said, citing the opinion of experts at the Robert Koch Institute.