THE Balearic Islands have been placed on high alert after three patients have undergone testing for the coronavirus in Menorca.

The medical director of the Mateu Orfila General Hospital in Mahon, Tamara Contreras, revealed that all of the patients recently returned from northern Italy. 

The individuals had contacted the emergency services after presenting symptoms of the disease, with one being kept in quarantine at the hospital and the two others isolating themselves at home. 

Contreras said that their blood samples have been sent to Son Espases Hospital in Palma and that the results are expected to be known by 10pm tonight.

“The protocol that is being followed at this time is one ordered by the Ministry of Health,” said Contreras. 

Yesterday, the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, said the protocol adopted at the end of January to deal with patients diagnosed with coronavirus will remain in place.

He added that the Ministry is being kept informed of any new cases in the Balearic Islands and will act in accordance with any new confirmed cases.

“The instructions will be followed as the cases of coronavirus evolve in autonomous communities and we are analysing all the latest events in detail,” said Illa.

The news comes as Spain has raised the risk of local coronavirus transmission to ‘moderate’ after nine people have tested positive for the disease.

Speaking at a press conference this morning, the Director of the Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simon, explained that the country would be boosting its detection capacity on a national level.

“In Spain, what concerns us right now is the outbreak in Italy due to the connectivity we have with that country.

“The general scenario in Spain is low risk but in some specific areas it could be medium risk or even high risk,” said Simon.

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