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Ecuador reports first suspected case of coronavirus

Ecuador reported Sunday a first “suspected case” of coronavirus in a Chinese citizen who arrived to the country from Hong Kong.

“The Ministry of Public Health informs the public that a suspected case of coronavirus in Ecuador has been determined,” the health authority said in a statement.

It explained that “it is a citizen of Chinese nationality, 49 years old,” who left Hong Kong for Quito and arrived on January 21.

According to the statement, “after examinations, doctors determined that it could be a case of the new coronavirus,” an epidemic that has killed 80 people and infected at least 2,744 in China since December. There are confirmed cases in a dozen countries.

The Ministry of Public Health said that “the patient was isolated in a private ward and remains under study.”

For epidemiological control, the statement said that authorities have “followed-up with the people with whom the patient came in contact during his trip” so that “if in case he is a carrier of the virus, it does not spread.”

Ecuador “is adopting all necessary prevention measures, including the respective controls of ports, airports and borders to identify possible cases,” the official information concluded.

There are confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States and Canada, but none in Latin America.

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