Mexico confirms first coronavirus cases in two men returned from Italy

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s government said on Friday it had detected the first cases of coronavirus infection in two men who had recently traveled to Italy, making the country the second in Latin America to register the virus.

A 35-year-old man who showed positive in an initial test in Mexico City went through a second test that turned up positive results early on Friday, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell Ramirez told reporters.

The man is in isolation, he added.

His case is connected to the second case in the northern state of Sinaloa, Lopez-Gatell told a regular news conference alongside President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Lopez Obrador urged the population to remain calm and said officials would report daily on the progress of cases.

“We have the capacity to handle this situation,” he said.

During their visit to Italy, both confirmed cases had been in direct contact with an Italian national who resides in Malaysia, the government said.

Previously, Brazil had been the only country in Latin America to report a case of the new coronavirus.

Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Alison Williams and Nick Zieminski

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