EU official tests positive for coronavirus

  • 16:42 04 March 2020

EU official tests positive for coronavirus

An EU official has tested positive for coronavirus in Brussels after returning from Italy, it emerged today, in the first case to strike the bloc's institutions, ONA reports citing Daily Mail.

The European Defence Agency staffer returned from Italy on February 23, started feeling sick on Saturday and subsequently tested positive.  

'We have confirmation of the case,' European Commission spokeswoman Dana Spinant said. 

Meetings at the headquarters of the Brussels-based EDA have been cancelled until March 13, officials said.  

EDA spokeswoman Elisabeth Schoeffmann denied a report that the man had attended a four-hour meeting with 30 other officials before he was diagnosed. 

The report by Euractiv had claimed that one of those other officials was already being tested for coronavirus.    

The European Parliament has already limited public access to its buildings in Brussels and Strasbourg, amid fears that large gatherings could hasten the spread of the global outbreak. 

Belgium has confirmed 13 cases of the virus so far. Belgian media today reported the first case which had been transmitted on Belgian soil, rather than brought home from abroad. 

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said earlier this week that the EU's disease prevention agency ECDC had raised the risk level 'from moderate to high'.

Zumrud Pashkin