Italy Battles with Coronavirus

Italy Battles with Coronavirus

More than 150 people have now tested positive for the new coronavirus in Italy, which now has more confirmed cases than any other country except China and South Korea.

More than 1,200 cases have been confirmed in 26 other countries and there have been more than 20 deaths. Italy reported its fourth death on Monday.

Italy locks down at least 10 towns, closes schools in major cities and cancels sporting and cultural events such as the Venice carnival. Bars are shut at 6 pm, museums, libraries are closed and no food in shops in Milan.

In Italy’s Lombardy region, 10 towns were locked down after a cluster of cases suddenly emerged in Codogno, southeast of Milan. Residents were supposed to leave or enter the towns only with special permission, affecting at least 50,000 people, and by Sunday night, police officers in surgical masks were waving down cars. While most known patients are in Lombardy, a smaller number of cases have also been confirmed in Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Piedmont, Trentino-Alto Adige, and Lazio.

The outbreak has sparked fears that tourists returning from Italy could send the epidemic spiraling across Europe, with many Britons back at school and work after the half-term break today. 

The proportion of infected patients dying from Covid-19 appears to be between 1% and 2%, although the World Health Organization (WHO) cautions that the mortality rate is not known yet.

On Monday Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain reported their first cases, all involving people who had returned from Iran.


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