Berlin: Health authorities in Germany and Sri Lanka confirmed their country's first case of the deadly coronavirus spreading in China.
The virus, which can cause a pneumonia-like acute respiratory infection, has in a matter of weeks killed more than 80 people and infected some 2,740 in China, while cases have been identified in more than a dozen other countries.
"A man in the Starnberg region (in southern Bavarian) has been infected with the new coronavirus," a spokesperson for the ministry said, adding that the patient was under surveillance in an isolation ward. The ministry gave no further details on how the patient came to be infected but said he was in a "medically good state".
Germany has recommended its citizens avoid "unnecessary" trips to China as the virus spreads. The country is also considering the possible evacuation of its nationals from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus.
On the other hand, chief epidemiologist of Sri Lanka's health ministry, Dr Sudath Samaraweera, said that the patient in the island country is a Chinese woman in her 40s who arrived in the country last week as a tourist from China's Hubei province.
The woman was suffering from a fever when she was admitted on Saturday to the island nation's Infectious Disease Hospital, a state-run facility that treats people suffering from potentially deadly infectious diseases.
Sri Lanka became a major travel destination for Chinese tourists in recent years. Many Chinese nationals also work on Chinese-funded infrastructure projects including a sea port, port city and highways.
Thousands of people have been sickened in China by the new virus and scores of people have died. France was the first European country to be affected by the outbreak, which has reported three known cases of the virus. All three had recently travelled to China and have been placed in isolation.