An eighth case of the novel coronavirus Covid-19 has been identified in Mexico.
Health authorities in Puebla said late Thursday that a 47-year-old German man who traveled to Mexico to provide training to workers at the Volkswagen plant in that state had tested positive for the infectious disease.
The man recently traveled to Italy – where more than 10,000 cases of Covid-19 have been detected, the state Health Ministry (SS) said in a statement.
The ministry said that he doesn’t currently have any symptoms of the virus, which can include a dry cough, fever, breathing difficulties and fatigue, and that he has been placed in isolation in a private hospital, where he will be monitored over the next 14 days.
The SS said that the man had contact with a group of workers at the Volkswagen factory and they will remain in home quarantine for the next two weeks.
Volkswagen México said in a statement that 40 of its workers had attended a training session with the German man and that they and their families will remain in isolation for 14 days to avoid any possible spread of the disease.
Confirmation of the eighth coronavirus case in Mexico comes as the disease spreads rapidly in many countries around the world including the United States.
Mexico City infectious disease specialist Francisco Moreno Sánchez believes that the real number of cases in Mexico is much higher, while Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, predicts that new cases linked to the growing spread of the virus in the United States will show up in Mexico and other Latin American countries in the coming weeks.
Moreno said that Mexico should be carrying out more tests to detect cases of Covid-19, including passengers at Mexico’s airports.
Mexico City health official Yareli Pérez said Tuesday that the Health Ministry is using thermal imaging cameras at the airport in the capital to detect passengers with high temperatures. Those with fever are interviewed and subjected to a health check, she said.
Efforts to detect passengers potentially infected with Covid-19 will intensify at the airport to “contain and prevent transmission,” Pérez said.
All of the confirmed coronavirus cases in Mexico originated outside the country, meaning that there is no current evidence of local transmission. Three cases were detected in Mexico City, while Sinaloa, Chiapas, Coahuila, México state and now Puebla have seen one case each. Only one case was considered serious but the patient is now in stable condition.
The World Health Organization reported Tuesday that there were 113,702 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in 109 countries and 4,012 deaths caused by the disease.
Almost 81,000 of those cases and 3,140 deaths were in China, where the novel coronavirus originated in the city of Wuhan in late 2019.