A PATIENT was allowed to potentially infect others for 36 hours in hospital before being tested for coronavirus and then isolated, it has been reported.
The man, a 38-year-old known as ‘Patient 1’ – the first known case of coronavirus in Italy – was admitted to Policlinico San Matteo in Pavia with pneumonia on February 19.
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The marathon runner and footballer spent a day and a half in the medical unit, with family and friends visiting him, before testing positive for Covid-19 in the evening of February 20.
It is believed during that time he might have infected others, including two doctors who were treating him.
The patient showed symptoms but was not tested before as he had not come back from China, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reports.
When he tested positive for Covid-19, the man, only named as Mattia, was moved to intensive care and his condition is now said to be serious but stable.
His wife, who is pregnant, also tested positive for the virus but is doing well.
One of the managers of the centre where the man and his wife train told Italian news agency ANSA: “She is fine, she had a scan and the pregnancy is continuing well. The child is healthy.”
A doctor from Lodi, the epicentre of infections in the northern region of Lombardy, said the virus started even before ‘Patient 1’ was diagnosed.
The woman, who is in precautionary quarantine, said: “The week before, I had seen many unusual cases of pneumonia among my patients: a big part of them proved to be linked to coronavirus.”
The number of infected people in Italy has risen to 374, including two 10-year-old children, one 15-year-old teenager and one four-year-old child, according to La Repubblica.
Authorities in Italy are still looking for ‘Patient zero’ – the first infected person who is thought to have brought the virus into the country – as the number of reported cases keeps going up.
Twelve people have died in the country after being diagnosed with coronavirus, Sky News reports.
A 78-year-old from Vo’ Euganeo, Padua, died after being admitted to hospital with pneumonia.
A woman aged 68 passed away in hospital following a heart attack and a cancer diagnosis.
She tested positive for coronavirus after suffering from respiratory failure.
A 56-year-old Italian woman died in Austria, where she was on holiday, last night.
It is alleged she might have contracted the virus, Il Messaggero reports.
Eleven towns in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto have been put on lockdown, with about 50,000 people not being allowed to enter or leave the affected areas.
Several shops and businesses have been closed over fears of coronavirus and pharmacies have reportedly run out of face masks and sanitiser gel.
A hotel in Tenerife was locked down after an Italian doctor tested positive for coronavirus.
The man, reportedly from the virus-hit Lombardy region, was visiting the H10 Costa Adeje Palace.
His wife also tested positive for the virus, the BBC reports.
Four guests from the hotel, including the doctor and his wife, are now in hospital after being diagnosed with the bug.
It is understood the two latest cases, also thought to be Italians, were part of a group of ten tourists who travelled to the island together.
The number of coronavirus cases globally has passed 80,000, with over 2,700 deaths being reported so far.
In South Korea, infections have risen again, taking the total to over 1,200, according to The Washington Post.
Italy and Iran, among the worst-hit countries, are battling to contain the outbreak of the virus.
The World Health Organisation said it is still early to label the spread of coronavirus as a pandemic, but countries should be "in a phase of preparedness".
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