American multinational technology company, Amazon on March 1 confirmed that two of its employees have been tested positive for coronavirus in Italy and have been placed under quarantine. According to international reports, Amazon spokesperson, Dan Perlet has said that the company is supporting the affected employees who were in Milan and are now in quarantine. The world's biggest online retailer has also said that it was unaware of any American employee who has contracted COVID-19.
On February 29, Amazon had asked its workers to halt the non-essential travel with the United States where at least 88 cases of the fatal virus have been confirmed with two deaths. In the wake on the unprecedented outbreak of the virus, Amazon confirmed on March 1 that it is moving some recruiting interviews to video rather than in-person interaction. Meanwhile, the US tightened its travel advisory on February 29 and urged its citizens not to travel to the Vento and Lombardy regions of Italy which have reported more cases of COVID-19.
According to reports, Italy has confirmed a 50 per cent increase in the confirmed cases of coronavirus. Italy's Civil Protection Authority reported that the country now has 1,694 confirmed cases which were 1,128 on February 29. Furthermore, at least 34 people have also died due to COVID-19 infection. Italy is currently the most severely hit country with coronavirus outside Asia.
The escalating numbers in virus cases have led to concerns affecting cultural institutions with the La Scala opera house in Milan to be closed until March 8. Moreover, according to a press officer for the Lombardy regional government, in the northern Italian region, which is also the centre of the outbreak, at least 1 in 10 of the confirmed cases involve medical personnel. Currently, according to reports, the region is evaluating whether to dedicate an entire hospital to coronavirus patients.
Several cities in northern Italy have also been put under lockdown and has banned people from leaving or entering the affected areas. Certain public events have also been suspended and the diffusion of the fatal virus has led to closings of tourists attractions such as museums. Reportedly, the measure has effectively put at least 100,000 people under quarantine.