Netherlands confirms first coronavirus case

Netherlands confirms first coronavirus case
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The Netherlands on Thursday reported its first confirmed case of a novel form of coronavirus as confirmed cases of the outbreak surged past 82,000 worldwide.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted that he was in "close contact" with authorities dealing with the situation.

"Earlier tonight it was announced that there is now also a case of corona infection in the Netherlands. I am in close contact with Bruno Bruins, including all the efforts made to prepare our country for this," Rutte said, according to a translation.

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"Of course, I wish the infected man all strength and improvement. My great appreciation goes out to the professionals, who work hard to do whatever is needed. It is important that we continue to follow their advice," he continued.

A statement from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) obtained by Reuters reported that one resident of the town of Tilburg had been diagnosed with the disease after recently returning from a trip to Italy, which is experiencing an outbreak of more than 500 confirmed cases.

"To prevent the sickness from spreading further in the Netherlands, [public health authorities] ... will trace who has had close contact with the infected patient," the RIVM said.

More than 2,800 deaths have been reported due to the disease, which is believed to have originated in China's Wuhan province. Several dozen cases have been reported in the U.S., though no deaths have yet occurred.