Coronavirus: First case confirmed in mainland Spain as virus outbreak reported across Europe

Chiara Giordano

Spain has confirmed its first case of coronavirus, with the outbreak reaching four new European countries on Tuesday. 

Spanish health authorities identified a case of the illness in Catalonia, according to the La Vanguardia newspaper.

Switzerland and Croatia also confirmed their first cases of coronavirus, and Austria declared its first two cases, who were Italians living close to the border province of Tyrol.

Italy has become the worst-hit country in Europe, with more than 260 cases and seven confirmed deaths in the country.

The virus has spread from northern Italy to other parts of the country, including to Sicily in the south.

The case in Catalonia is Spain's fourth after three infected tourists from Germany, Italy and Britain were detected in the Canary Islands and in Mallorca.

A four-star hotel in the Canary Islands is currently on lock down after a case of coronavirus.

Spanish health authorities said they would test hotel guests and staff after confirmed an Italian doctor on holiday in Tenerife tested positive for the virus on Monday.

The man is now in isolation in hospital. He was the third case identified in Spain after a German tourist in La Gomera, another Canary Island, and a British man in Mallorca.

Maria Montero, a spokesperson for the Spanish government, said: ”For the time being, the guests will stay at the hotel until this second test and, depending on the results, appropriate health measures will be taken.”

The Italian patient’s wife has also been taken in isolation in hospital, she added.

The flu-like virus, which began in Wuhan, in China, has so far killed more than 2,000 and been contracted by more than 80,000 more around the world.