Slovakia reported its first case of the novel coronavirus on Friday, after a man whose son visited Venice in COVID-19 hotspot Italy, tested positive.
“Today, a 52-year-old patient was confirmed to be infected,” Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini told journalist Friday.
He said the man, who has not been named, is currently hospitalized in Bratislava.
“The patient did not travel anywhere recently but his son returned from Venice a couple of weeks ago,” Pellegrini added.
The patient’s sample was tested twice, so there is no doubt about coronavirus, according to the prime minister.
“His son has not shown any signs of illness,” Pellegrini said.
The COVID-19 infection has also been confirmed in a Slovak family who are in quarantine in a holiday house on Neusiedlersee lake in Austria, not far from the border with Slovakia. The Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed the information for the TASR newswire.
The mother of the family recently attended an international congress in the US. She showed symptoms of the coronavirus infection on the day she returned. She was later informed that she has been in contact with an infected person during her stay in the US.
The father and two children also had symptoms of the COVID-19 infection later on. All four tested positive. The number of cases in Austria has thus risen to 66 as of the morning of March 7.
More than 300 samples of suspected infections were tested negative in Slovakia as of Friday, local health authorities said. Slovakia had been the only country in Central Europe without a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus.
The virus, which now affects around 90 countries and territories, has infected more than 98,000 people worldwide and left nearly 3,400 people dead.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s Friday announcement follows an earlier decision by Slovakia to cancel all flights between the central European nation and Italy.
Italy has recorded nearly 800 more people infected with the coronavirus in the last 24 hours with another 49 deaths in the pandemic. That brings the total number of infected people in Italy to 4,636, and a total of 197 deaths.