Coronavirus cases surge by 40% in Italy as death toll reaches 35

There have now been 34 deaths from coronavirus in Italy since cases there exploded on February 21.

Italian authorities have announced that the number of people infected in the country has risen 40% to 1,576 in 24 hours.

Health authorities say the increase is expected, since it can take as long as two weeks for the containment measures to take effect, and because Italy has a large number of elderly people.

The news came as a new US government advisory urged Americans not to travel to the two Italian regions hardest hit by the virus.

The US travel advisory cited quarantines set up in 10 towns in Lombardy and one in Veneto, with a combined population of 50,000 people, as well as ‘the level of community transmission of the virus’.

It followed an earlier warning late on Friday for Americans to avoid non-essential travel to all of Italy.

Tourism officials call the US warning covering all of Italy potentially calamitous to the industry, which represents 13% of gross domestic product in a country famed for its world-class museums, archaeological sites, art cities and natural beauty.

More than 5.6 million Americans visit Italy every year, representing 9% of foreign tourists and the second-largest national group behind Germans, according to the most recent statistics.

Lombardy, which includes Italy’s financial capital of Milan, accounts for just over half of the cases while Veneto and Emilia-Romagna have 18% and 20%, respectively.

All three regions have closed schools for the time being. In Veneto and Lombardy, closures also have hit museums, theatres, cinemas and most public offices, emptying cities like Milan, where many companies have permitted office workers to telecommute.

Earlier on Sunday, the French community church in Rome, St Louis of the French, closed its doors to the public after a priest was infected with the new virus.

The church in the historic centre of Rome is famous for three paintings by the Baroque master Caravaggio, making it a destination for tourists and the faithful alike.

A sign on the door on Sunday noted in French that the church had been closed as a precaution by the French Embassy for both Masses and tourist visits until further notice.

Source: Read Full Article

You May Also Like