Spain Confirms 2nd Virus Case; UK Plane Brings 200 Evacuees

Associated Press
February 09, 2020 - 7:41 am

A view of Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre, ahead of the repatriation to the UK of the latest Coronavirus evacuees who are due to land at RAF Brize Norton on Sunday, in Milton Keynes, England, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. A viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 34,800 people worldwide. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)

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MADRID (AP) — Spain confirmed its second case of the new virus from China, and a plane evacuating more than 200 people from the Chinese city at the center of the epidemic landed Sunday in Britain.

The coronavirus case was detected in Mallorca, a popular vacation island in the Mediterranean Sea, Spain's National Microbiology Center said. A British man who lives on the island contracted the virus at the end of January at a French ski resort where he came into contact with an infected person, according to Fernando Simón, head of Spain’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts and Emergencies.

The man, who was not identified, is healthy but is being kept in isolation in Palma de Mallorca, Simón told a news conference in Madrid. His wife and two daughters tested negative.

Authorities are working to identify all the people the British man came into contact with in Spain.

Spain’s first virus case was a German tourist diagnosed a week ago in the Canary Islands off northwest Africa.

Britain's evacuation plane, the second one charted by the government, arrived Sunday morning at RAF Brize Norton. British officials said the flight brought back 105 British citizens and family members, as well as 95 European citizens and family members. A total of 13 staff and medics were also on board.

The passengers were being taken to a hotel in Milton Keys where they will be quarantined for 14 days.

Also on board the British evacuation flight were 22 people from Germany. They were taken to Berlin, where they were to be tested and quarantined at a hospital for two weeks as a precaution.

Another 17 European evacuees on the onward flight to Berlin were to be transported on to Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and Romania on special flights.

Meanwhile, Italian health authorities in Tuscany were trying to re-trace the steps of a Taiwanese couple who stayed four days in a Florence hotel, flew to Hong Kong and then to Taiwan on Feb. 1 and were later confirmed to have the virus.

The virus death toll in China rose Sunday to 811, passing the number of fatalities in the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic, and officials said nearly 37,200 people have been infected there.

Europe has seen a total of 38 infections in nine countries, including 14 in Germany.

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Sheila Norman-Culp in London, Geir Moulson in Berlin and Frances D'Emilio in Rome contributed to this story.

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