Italy’s Coronavirus Death Toll Climbs to 10, South, Neighbors Now Also Affected
The health ministers of Italy and six neighboring countries have decided the closing of borders would be both ineffective and disproportionate as a measure against the spread of the coronavirus.
The coronavirus outbreak in EU member Italy has exacerbated as the country’s death toll has now reached 10, and the virus has spread to regions which are remote from the two hardest hit northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto.
Sicily in the south and the central region of Tuscany reported their first cases on Tuesday.
The number of coronavirus infections in the country rose by 100, to a total of 322, according to data of the Italian civil protection agency.
The death toll swell to 10 after three more elderly patients passed away in Lombardy.
The three coronavirus cases in Sicily and two in Tuscany were all tourists from the worst-hit region of Lombardy, which has more than 200 cases, France24 and AFP reported.
Lombardy’s neighbor Liguria also reported its first case of coronavirus on Tuesday.
The spread of the coronavirus continued throughout Italy even as a team from the World Health Organization in Rome declared that the country had taken proper measures to counter it.
“The measures taken by the Italian government or the regional governments have been pretty strong and most likely should help in containing this virus as good as possible,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said.
Lindmeier noted that in the majority of coronavirus cases in Italy – four out of every five – people experience mild or no symptoms.
Strict measures to stop the spread of the virus in Northern Italy have included the closing of schools and cancelation of sporting and cultural events. Football matches in the Italian Serie A and the Europa League will be played behind closed doors.
The main center of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy has been Codogno, a town of 15,000 approximately 60 km south of Milan. It has been put under isolation together with several other towns.
A meeting in Rome of the health ministers of Italy and six neighbouring countries decided that inter-state borders did not need to be closed over the outbreak, describing such a potential measure as both disproportionate and ineffective measure.
The decision was made regardless of the fact that several neighboring countries now also announced their first cases.
In Croatia, that is a young man who had recently returned to Italy. Croatia’s is also the first coronavirus case in the Balkans.
Switzerland reported its first confirmed case in the Italian-speaking Ticino canton.
Austria also saw its first two cases confirmed on Tuesday in the Tyrol province, which borders Italy, with one of the two patients in Tyrop coming from Lombardy.
In Spain’s Canary Islands, hundreds of people were confined to their rooms in a Tenerife hotel after an Italian tourist was hospitalised with suspected coronavirus, health officials said.
Meanwhile, Algeria reported its first coronavirus case, an Italian citizen who arrived in the country on February 17. Algeria’s is the second case of the virus in Africa, after one case was registered in Egypt.
(Banner image: “Coronavirus Updates” on Twitter)