The first Sri Lankan to be contracted from the novel coronavirus also known as Covid-19 has been reported from Italy.
Accordingly, a 46-year old Sri Lankan national residing in Italy has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The person who is residing in Brescia in the northern Italian region of Lombardy had contracted the virus after she had reportedly visited an individual who had previously tested positive for the virus.
When inquired by NewsRadio, a spokesperson attached to the Ministry of Foreign Relations said the Sri Lankan is currently hospitalised and is in a stable condition.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry said the Embassy in Rome is taking measures to provide all necessary facilities to Lankans residing in virus-hit regions in Italy.
The Ministry of Foreign Relations in coordination with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Rome and the Consulate General Office in Milan has also taken steps to monitor and coordinate efforts to ensure the safety of Sri Lankans residing in Italy, following the recent rise of Covid-19 cases, particularly in Lombardy.
Over 104,000 Sri Lankans reside in Italy of which approximately 60 percent are in the Lombardy region.
The Ministry said Sri Lankan Missions are presently communicating with health authorities in Italy and are in contact with Lankans, community leaders and all others concerned.
The Foreign Ministry also urged Sri Lankans visiting Italy, in particular northern Italy, to be vigilant and take all precautions in line with rules, regulations and safety measures issued by local authorities for the prevention of the virus.
Hotlines operated by the Embassy and Consulate are currently functional on a round-the-clock basis and a Help Desk is also operational in order to respond to the needs of the Sri Lankan community.
Meanwhile, the death toll from Italy’s coronavirus outbreak has risen to 52, an increase of 18 since Sunday, as the number of confirmed cases in Europe’s worst-hit country rose to 1,835.
The civil protection agency said 149 people had also recovered from the virus.
The authorities said 742 people had been admitted to hospital, with 166 in intensive care.
The vast majority of those infected had shown few or no symptoms and were recovering at home.
Among those to have tested positive yesterday is a councillor from the Lombardy region, where there are more than 1,000 cases.
Authorities have also advised people aged 65 and over, the group most vulnerable to the illness, to stay at home as much as possible over the next two weeks as the region tries to contain the virus.
Meanwhile, Rome confirmed its first cases, that of a police officer and a firefighter.
The officer’s wife, two children and sister-in-law were also infected.