Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Tunisia Confirm First Cases of Coronavirus

Jordanian patient returned from Italy nearly two weeks ago on a plane with 100 passengers

Medical staff work at a new section specialized in receiving any person who may have been infected with coronavirus, Al-Bashir Governmental Hospital in Amman, Jordan January 28, 2020

Jordan, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia announced on Monday the first confirmed cases of coronavirus in their countries.

In Saudi Arabia the patient is a Saudi national who arrived from Iran through Bahrain, the Saudi Health Ministry said on Monday. The patient is currently quarantined at hospital, it said, adding that samples were taken from all those who were in contact with the patient, for tests.

The Health Ministry in Tunisia said that the patient is a 40-year-old Tunisian man who had returned from Italy, according to the official TAP news agency.

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Jordan said its first coronavirus patient is a man who had flown in from Italy, the state news agency in Petra reported.

The Jordanian citizen had flown back nearly two weeks ago on a plane with around 100 passengers, health minister Saad Jaber told a news conference. The man was quarantined at his home with strict controls on his movement and was in a "stable" condition, Jaber said.

Another Jordanian was under close observation, the minister added.

Italy, the European country worst affected by the outbreak so far, has recorded 34 deaths and 1,694 cases.

Last week, Jordan's state carrier Royal Jordanian suspended flights between Amman and Rome until further notice and reduced flights to major Asian destinations.