283 coronavirus cases confirmed in Italy, death toll at seven

2020-02-26 00:20:19Xinhua Editor : Zhao Yuning ECNS App Download
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

Italian authorities said on Tuesday the country has by far confirmed a total of 283 novel coronavirus cases.

The total number included seven fatalities -- a death toll stationary since Monday -- and one case of full recovery, according to Civil Protection Department chief and extraordinary commissioner for the coronavirus emergency Angelo Borrelli.

The latest case concerned a woman who had travelled from northern Lombardy to southern Sicily on holiday, and tested positive in Palermo, after showing symptoms of a possible infection.

"On this woman, final checks by the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS) are ongoing," the extraordinary commissioner specified, adding the whole group of people traveling with her has been put under confinement.

Looking at the distribution of cases by macro-areas, the health authorities explained northern Italy registered 212 in Lombardy region, 38 in Veneto, 1 in Trentino Alto Adige, and 3 in Piedmont.

Central Italy had 23 cases in Emilia Romagna, 2 in Tuscany, and 3 in the Lazio region surrounding Rome -- the latter includes the only person who has so far recovered.

Only one case was counted in southern Italy, and referred to the mentioned woman coming from Lombardy and now under check.

Lombardy and Veneto were confirmed as the country's only two infection hotbeds.

"The measures imposed go in the right direction," said Walter Ricciardi, member of the World Health Organization (WHO) executive committee, speaking at the joint press conference with Borrelli.

The expert was appointed by the Italian government as special adviser and responsible for coordinating the exchange of information between Italy and all international health organizations in this context.

"It is now crucial for the country to move united and together in order to face these two hotbeds, and avoid them to evolve in an epidemic," Ricciardi warned.

Later on Tuesday, Health Minister Roberto Speranza and Foreign Affairs Minister Luigi Di Maio would meet with health ministers from Austria, France, Slovenia, and Switzerland -- all sharing borders with Italy -- plus those from Germany and Croatia, along with European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

On Wednesday, it added, the Italian health minister will hold another meeting with the European Commissioner, WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge, and Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) Andrea Ammon.


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