Italy plans a ban on KISSING to stop coronavirus spread
- The number infected in Italy soared to more than 2,500 today, including 79 dead
- PM Giuseppe Conte’s government is expected to provide new health rules today
- The recommendations for all of Italy include not to kiss, hug or shake hands
- Meanwhile a government source said all schools could be closed nationwide
The Italian health ministry is planning a ban on kissing to stop the spread of the coronavirus which has infected more 2,500 in the country and killed 79.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government is providing rules for the entire nation which advise not to kiss, hug or even shake hands.
The guidance is to be circulated nationwide today, according to La Repubblica, and includes advice to stand three feet apart at all times, even indoors, to protect against saliva droplets which can transmit the disease.
Meanwhile the Italian government was today considering shutting down all of its schools throughout the country, a source revealed. At the moment only schools in the northern regions most affected by the epidemic are closed.
Revellers at the Venice Carnival last month kissing in the street. As of today Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government is expected to advise against such affection over coronavirus fears
The Pope – who has tested negative for the virus after suffering cold-like symptoms – kissing a child in Bari, Italy, on February 23
An Italian woman sitting on the subway in Milan on Wednesday wearing a protective face mask – the government is expected to advise no more kissing and hugging later today
Yesterday the three worst-hit regions – Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna – have extended the closure of schools for another week.
Ten percent of virus patients in Italy were in intensive care with respiratory problems, the health chief of the Lombardy region in northern Italy has said.
He added that they were almost exclusively over 65 years old and asked all elderly people in the region to leave home as little as possible for the next two weeks.
Giovanni Rezza, the head of the infectious diseases department at the national health institute, said that schools were a key area to keep control of.
‘Not because children are vulnerable — they don’t suffer as much as adults — but they can transmit it to parents and grandparents,’ he said.
Italians have been told to stand one metre away from each other in all public spaces in a bid to stop coronavirus spreading. Pictured: a woman in Rome wears a mask
The death toll in Italy jumped to 52 yesterday from 34 the day before and the total number of confirmed cases in Europe’s worst affected country climbed to 2,036. Pictured: people wearing medical face masks in Rome
Pope Francis has tested negative for coronavirus after he was forced to cancel a series of engagements last week due to illness.
The 83-year-old pontiff was given a ‘routine’ test after falling ill on Ash Wednesday with symptoms of a cold including a cough, fever, chills and sore throat.
He was given a swab test as a precaution but the results have come back negative, according to Italian newspaper Il Messaggero.
Medics have not said what the Pope is suffering from, but he previously described it as ‘a cold’.
Francis’s last full day of public engagements was on Ash Wednesday, when he appeared ill while taking part in an evening Mass.
He was seen coughing, sneezing and appeared tired during the ceremony, before cancelling an engagement the following morning.
He then disappeared from public view for the next four days while he recovered.
He also had a warning for countries like the UK where the virus is starting to spread, saying: ‘Be very careful and contain clusters as soon as possible.’
Officials in Italy also said it could take up to two weeks to know whether measures including quarantines in 11 northern towns were working.
Nearby in France the latest death was reported in the Oise department northeast of Paris, in the country’s most significant cluster.
With at least 191 cases, including 47 in the Oise, France is the second worst affected country in Europe after Italy.
The Louvre in Paris shut its doors for a second day yesterday after staff walked out over health risks.
In China, the number of new virus cases dropped again Tuesday, with just 125 new cases after a six-week low of 202 a day earlier.
It’s still by far the hardest-hit country, with 80,151 cases and 2,943 deaths.
The virus has been detected in at least 70 countries with 90,000 cases and 3,100 deaths.
The U.S.’ count of COVID-19 cases surpassed 100 in 11 states.
President Donald Trump and his Cabinet met with pharmaceutical executives Monday to discuss how to speed the search for a vaccine.
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