The Czech Republic has its first three confirmed coronavirus cases, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch announced on Sunday.
Two patients are hospitalized at the Department of Infectious Diseases of Prague’s Na Bulovce Hospital. The third patient was transported to the Masaryk Hospital in the North Bohemian town of Ústí nad Labem.
A Berlin laboratory is to review the positive test results, said Czech Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch.
All three patients visited Italy recently. A man who was at a conference at the University of Udine, Italy, is hospitalized in Prague. The second patient is an American tourist studying in Milan. The man being treated at the hospital in Ústí nad Labem was on holiday in the Auronzo di Cadore resort with his family.
“The disease development seems easy, as there is no threat of fatal consequences,” said Minister Adam Vojtěch.
In up to 80 percent of those infected with the virus, the disease only presents mild symptoms, however, for a certain percentage, the virus can be deadly. Over 3,000 people have now died from the virus worldwide.
Czech authorities are now tracking all those with whom the patients were in contact to determine the level of risk of transmission to other people. They are mapping, for example, where the infected tourist was in Prague before visiting the hospital.
Vojtěch called on Czech citizens not to go on holiday to high-risk areas, to observe hygiene rules, and to wash their hands regularly.
According to the minister, border checks and quarantine measures are not planned.
On Monday, the Czech National Security Council discussed coronavirus and decided to cancel flights from South Korea. The Czech government also intends to limit flights from Milan, Venice, and Bologna. While in the case of the Korean flights, the government is permitted to act on its own, but it is currently negotiating with the European Commission to cancel flights from northern Italy.