EU official in Brussels tests positive for coronavirus

A first EU official working in the bloc’s Brussels administration has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, European officials said on Wednesday, SIA reports.

“We have confirmation of the case,” EU Commission spokesperson Dana Spinant told AFP, confirming a report from the Euractiv news site.

A spokesperson for the European Defence Agency (EDA) confirmed that a male public servant of the agency had returned from Italy on February 23 and subsequently tested positive. Meetings at the headquarters of the Brussels-based agency have been cancelled until March 13, Elisabeth Schoeffmann said. But the EDA spokesperson denied a report that the official had attended a four-hour meeting with 30 more staff from the other EU bodies in the city before he was diagnosed.

Brussels is the de facto capital of the 27-nation union and home to many of its institutions, including the European Commission, European Council and European parliament. Parliament has already limited public access to its buildings in Brussels and Strasbourg amid fears that large gatherings could hasten the spread of the global outbreak.

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