(Adds minister's comments; paragraphs 5, 6)
VILNIUS, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Lithuania reported its first coronavirus infection on Friday, in a woman who returned this week from a visit to Italy's northern city of Verona, the government said, as the disease spreads rapidly worldwide.
Italy is the European nation worst hit by the virus, with its death toll at 17, while the numbers of those testing positive for the illness increased by more than 200, to 350.
Hopes that the virus could be contained to China have vanished as nations began to stockpile medical equipment while investors took flight on worries of a global recession.
In a statement, the Lithuanian government said the stricken woman had been isolated in hospital in the northern town of Siauliai, following her return on Monday.
She has been under observation since, and is showing only slight symptoms, with no elevated temperature at the moment.
The woman, aged 39, was attending a conference with colleagues in Italy before flying to the southern city of Kaunas, Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga told a late night news conference, in video images posted on Lithuanian news websites.
Passengers seated beside her and in adjacent rows are to be tested for the virus, the minister added. (Reporting by Andrius Sytas; Writing by Clarence Fernandez; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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