Death toll in Italy from coronavirus rises to 11

Cornelia Mascio
Febbraio 27, 2020

The hardest-hit region is Lombardy in northern Italy, with 173 cases and six deaths reported, while 33 cases and a death have been reported in the northeastern region of Veneto.

In just a few days, a virus that had been contained mainly in countries surrounding its center in Wuhan, China, became global.

"We're talking about a virus that doesn't respect borders", said Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza.

"We are clear that, if you come back from northern Italy and you have symptoms, then you should self-isolate", Matt Hancock told the BBC.

The government has placed a total of 11 towns - 10 in Lombardy and one in Veneto region whose capital is Venice - under lockdown in an effort to contain the outbreak.

The outbreak forced a number of sporting events to be called off throughout the country this past weekend, including four Serie A matches in the north of Italy.

Twelve people have died in Italy, all of them elderly, with other ailments or both, civil protection chief Angelo Borelli said.

Three were confirmed in Palermo, Sicily the first in southern Italy two in Tuscany, one in Liguria in the northeast, and one in German-speaking South Tyrol near Austria.

In Croatia, where a second case was confirmed in the twin brother of a young man who contracted the virus in Milan, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic warned against panic shopping.

Rezza, who heads the ISS's infectious diseases unit, also said that Italy had a higher mortality rate from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, 'of 2-3%, because of its ageing population.

A hotel in the Canary Islands is closed.

Conte shocked Lombardy officials by taking to task the hospital in Codogno, southeast of Milan, where Italy's first positive patient went on February 18 with flu-like symptoms. The man was sent home, only to return a short time later with worsening conditions, at which point he was tested for the virus.

The wife of the patient also tested positive for the virus and is now admitted to the Sacco hospital in Mulan, but she is in a stable condition. However, he admitted that a hospital, which was not named, had not followed proper protocol, leading to the largest outbreak outside of Asia.

"This surely contributed to the spread", he said.

"The health of the Italian citizens is the most important thing". But officials have excluded that contact as the source of the outbreak since that person tested negative.

As officials worked to get ahead of the spread nationally, the reality of a two-week quarantine was setting in for residents of Italy's quarantined "red zones" - the cluster of 10 towns in Lombardy and Veneto's tiny Vo'Euganeo.

"The concern is palpable, people are anxious, partly because of what they hear on television, information, on social media", said Davide Passerini, the mayor of Fombio, one of the 10 Lombardy towns under lockdown. "Don't go shopping in such a way that others can not buy groceries".

United Kingdom authorities on Tuesday advised British people who had visited northern Italy to self-isolate if they had any flu-like symptoms. Kaernten state officials said tests were being conducted to determine whether the woman, from the Friuli region in northern Italy, had the virus.

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