March 3, 2020 / 7:40 PM / a month ago

Spain reports first coronavirus death in Valencia

MADRID (Reuters) - A man in the Spanish region of Valencia has died from coronavirus, marking the country’s first death from the outbreak, a local health official said on Tuesday.

Tests carried out post-mortem showed the man, who died on Feb. 13, was killed by the virus, regional health chief Ana Barcelo told a press conference.

News of the death came shortly after Spain’s Health Ministry announced on its Twitter page that several sporting events would be held behind closed doors, while medical conferences will be canceled in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.

The ministry said sport fixtures expected to draw crowds from zones designated as high-risk for coronavirus, such as northern Italy, would be played without spectators, having earlier referred to the measure as a recommendation.

Such events include the return leg of the Champions League match between Valencia and Italy’s Atalanta scheduled for March 10, and a Europa League match between Getafe and Inter Milan on March 19. Several basketball games will also be affected.

In total, around 150 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Spain, while some 100 health workers in the Basque region have been isolated in their homes after coming into contact with people carrying the virus.

Authorities are monitoring two clusters of the infection in Torrejon de Ardoz, a suburban city close to Madrid with a population of around 130,000, and one in the Basque city of Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Reporting by Nathan Allen; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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