"Of these four new cases, three are in the North and have an epidemiological link to previous cases" and Italy, Marta Temido told reporters after a meeting of EU health ministers in Brussels.

Marta Temido said that three of these cases are being followed up at the São João hospital centre, in Porto, while the other is being followed up at the Lisbon Central hospital centre.

"We continue with an identification of the epidemiological link of the cases [...], which allows us to identify the existence of cases and gives us confidence that there is not yet free transmission in the community", concluded the Minister of Health.

The Covid-19 outbreak - the disease caused by the new coronavirus, which can cause respiratory infections such as pneumonia - detected in December in China has already caused 3,385 deaths and infected more than 98,000 people in 87 countries and territories.

Of the infected people, more than 55,000 recovered.

In addition to 3,042 deaths in China, there are fatalities in Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan, France, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, Thailand, the United States of America and the Philippines, San Marino, Iraq, Switzerland, Spain, United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Covid-19 outbreak as an international public health emergency and increased the risk to “very high”.