Italy has declared a state of emergency on January 31 ahead of the deadly coronavirus outbreak in a bid to contain the spread of the virulent disease, as per reports. Two cases were confirmed in Rome. Italy has said on Thursday that it was halting all flights to and from China after the reports that two Chinese tourists holidaying in Italy had tested positive for the virus. The couple was being kept in isolation wards in Rome's Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases. According to the Italian media, the state of emergency gives regional authorities special powers which will last for six months. Police have sealed off the room where the couple had been staying at a hotel in the heart of the capital.
The death toll from the Coronavirus outbreak has risen to 250 with nearly 12000 confirmed cases in China after the worst-hit Hubei province reported 42 new fatalities on Friday. Within the past 24 hours, over 1,200 new cases of the disease have been recorded in 17 Chinese cities, the Chinese media reported. Earlier, an Italian cruise ship quarantined over 6000 tourists in Italy on January 30 after the huge liner was placed on lockdown over two suspected cases of the deadly coronavirus.
The health authorities said that samples from a Chinese couple were sent for examination after three doctors and a nurse boarded the Costa Crociere ship in the port of Civitavecchia to attend a woman running a fever. Costa Crociere reported that the ship carrying some 7,000 people including the crew members was in lockdown. A 54-year-old woman from Macau was placed under solitary confinement in the on-board hospital last night with her travel companion and are strictly asked to follow the instructions from the health ministry.
The new figures came shortly after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a Global Emergency over the deadly epidemic, which has spread to over 20 countries around the world. The latest figures show that the daily death count is increasing sharply, despite unprecedented measures imposed by China on Hubei a week ago. On Thursday alone, Chinese health officials had reported a nationwide total of 38 deaths, all but one of them in Hubei. The Chinese province on Friday also reported new cases, slightly higher than the previous day. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the Coronavirus a Global Health Emergency.