Chile confirmed on Tuesday the first positive case of the novel coronavirus in the country: a 33-year-old man who traveled for about a month to Singapore, Health Minister Jaime Mañalich confirmed.
“We have to confirm that we have the first case for coronavirus in our country,” said the minister at a press conference about the man who is hospitalized and in good condition at the Talca hospital, a city located about 350 km south of Chile’s capital, Santiago.
The man, whose identity was not made public, traveled for a month to different countries in Southeast Asia and returning to Chile on February 25, but only a few days ago he presented the symptoms.
In Argentina, the health minister Gines Gonzalez Garcia said that the country’s first coronavirus victim is a 43-year-old man who spent two weeks in northern Italy, the center of Europe’s outbreak.
The man is in isolation since presenting himself to a private health clinic in Buenos Aires the day he returned.
“We’ve identified the first case. It’s a patient who came from Italy” but had also traveled around other parts of Europe. Fortunately, the case is not complicated,” said the minister, adding that Argentina is prepared to tackle the virus.
“There are countries that have managed to prevent the spread and other countries that haven’t,” said Gonzalez Garcia. “I have every hope and belief that this will be contained.”
As of March 3, 2020, the two new cases brings the total number in Latin America to 16: Brazil (2) and Mexico (5), the first to report cases, Ecuador (6) and the Dominican Republic (1).
The new coronavirus has infected more than 92,000 globally and led to 3,100 deaths, the vast majority in China, with more than 80,000 cases and almost 3,000 deaths alone. Elsewhere, the main countries affected are South Korea (5,186 cases, 28 deaths), Italy (2,502 cases, 79 deaths) and Iran (2,336 cases, 77 deaths).
Click here for the latest of countries, territories or areas outside China with reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19cases and deaths reported by the World Health Organization (WHO).