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This handout illustration image obtained February 3, 2020, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Image Credit: AFP

The US state of Rhode Island announced the first presumptive case of coronavirus on Sunday afternoon. The patient has been identified as a man in his 40s who had recently traveled to Italy, France and Spain.

During the announcement, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo urged residents not to panic as the Covid-19 case has been confirmed in the state.

"My primary message to the people of Rhode Island this morning is that the risk in Rhode Island at this point is low and that we have been preparing for this for weeks," Raimondo said during a news conference Sunday afternoon. "We did not wake up today and just get started in our preparation."

Raimondo urged residents to "be careful and be vigilant but don’t panic."

Travel history

The case was discovered on Saturday, Raimondo said. The patient is in his or her 40s and had recently traveled to Italy, France and Spain, Rhode Island Department of Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott told reporters.

The patient did not go to work once he or she arrived back into the U.S. and had limited travel within Rhode Island, Alexander-Scott said.

People who came in contact with the patient are being asked to self-quarantine, she added.

The case is considered presumptive until it is confirmed by laboratories at the CDC, Alexander-Scott said.