North Macedonia has reported its first coronavirus case after a woman who had returned from Italy was found to be infected.
"The patient is a Macedonian woman who spent one month in Italy," Health Minister Venko Filipce told a news conference on February 26.
Filipce said the woman began to feel unwell with flu symptoms two weeks ago and went to an Italian hospital, but was not tested for the virus.
Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski, speaking at the same conference, said the woman was identified at the border during a regular check of all passengers traveling from Italy.
Italy is the hardest-hit country in Europe with the coronavirus that causes the illness named COVID-19.
The woman, born in 1970, is currently being treated in isolation in a hospital.
"She is isolated and safe, please do not spread panic, the situation is under control," the head of the hospital, Zarko Karadzoski, said.
North Macedonia is the second Balkan country to report a coronavirus case.
A day earlier, Croatia also reported that a young man who developed mild symptoms had contracted the coronavirus during a stay in Milan from February 19 to February 21.
Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic said after meeting top health officials on February 26 that his country had so far reported no cases of coronavirus but that its health service was prepared respond to an outbreak.