Brazil Health Ministry confirms first coronavirus case in South America
The Brazilian government has confirmed the first case of the deadly coronavirus in Latin America.
"A case of coronavirus is confirmed. The test carried out by the Adolfo Lutz institute gave a positive result. Thus, Brazil has its first confirmed case of the disease," Health Minister Henrique Mandetta told a news conference alongside other officials on Wednesday.
"From now, we are going to see how this virus will behave in the southern hemisphere, in the situation of a tropical country, in the middle of summer. What will the pattern of behavior be? It is a new virus," Mandetta emphasized.
Secretary of State for Health of Sao Paulo Jose Henrique Ferreira said the 61-year-old patient who returned recently from Italy is well and in family isolation at home.
"As soon as the symptoms are over, he will stop being in an isolated patient situation and return to his normal life," Ferreira added.
Brazil has one confirmed coronavirus case, 20 suspected cases and 59 discharged patients who tested negative for the virus, according to the health ministry.
The novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has infected 81,280 people with 2,770 already dead so far.
Outside China, where the virus broke out from, the coronavirus has spread to more than 30 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain, Iran, Italy, South Korea and India.