China's Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) has recently announced a 14-day quarantine period for all arrivals from Italy and Iran. Both countries have suffered major coronavirus outbreaks. According to reports, the quarantine period will take effect from 12:00 pm local time on February 29.
Macao till now has announced ten confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of these confirmed cases, eight cases have reportedly recovered. Earlier, even US President Donald Trump said that the scope of travel restrictions could be expanded to Italy and South Korea over coronavirus fears. The United States has already banned foreign nationals travelling from China within the past two weeks and South Korea and Italy could also face travel restrictions with the rising number of cases. While South Korea has reported around 1,600 cases of coronavirus, around 400 infected people in Italy have been identified.
Several coronavirus cases in European nations have reportedly been traced back to Italy. The number of cases of confirmed coronavirus in Italy has exceeded 400 and killed 12 people so far. The worst affected areas in Italy are Lombardy, the region around Milan, and Veneto near Venice.
As per reports, schools, universities and cinemas have been closed and several public events cancelled. 11 towns that are believed to be at the centre of the outbreak have been quarantined. Reports indicate that the virus and the subsequent quarantines may send Italy into a recession because of empty streets and cafes and cancelled reservations by tourists.
According to sources, 210 people in Iran have died due to the coronavirus, which is six times higher than the official death toll of 35 that was announced by the Iranian Health Ministry on February 27.
But the Iranian Health Ministry strongly denied the allegations of a cover-up. Health ministry spokesperson Kianush Jahanpur accused the news channel of joining nation’s regional enemies to spread lies about Iran. “Iran's exemplary transparency in publishing information on the coronavirus has stunned many people," Jahanpur tweeted. However Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki admitted that the country will have a tough week ahead. “The main peak of the coronavirus will be in next week and the coming days,” warned Namaki.
(with inputs from agencies)