A dozen towns have been sealed off in northern Italy, where 270 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed as of Tuesday morning and the death toll has reached seven as concerns grow over containing the virus.
Italy had taken Europe’s most stringent preventative measures against coronavirus and yet became home to the biggest outbreak outside Asia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday announced a level 2 travel alert for Italy, citing coronavirus and recommending travelers “practice enhanced precautions” if visiting the country.
Buses, trains, and other forms of public transport – including boats in Venice – are being disinfected, according to Veneto regional Gov. Luca Zaia.
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The CDC has also issued level 3 travel advisories (its highest warning, which recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel) for China and South Korea and level 2 advisories (“practice enhanced precautions”) for Japan and Iran.
The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory for Italy, last updated Jan. 15, remains at a level 2 out of 4, meaning “exercise increased caution,” citing “terrorism.” The State Department has coronavirus-related advisories for Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea, all at level 2. And China reached a level 4 – “do not travel” – on Feb. 2.
Korean Air said Tuesday one of its crew members tested positive for the virus, but the airline didn’t disclose the flights the employee had worked on.
Worldwide, over 80,200 cases have been confirmed, with over 2,700 deaths from the virus as of Tuesday morning.
Italian doctor tests positive for coronavirus in Canary Islands
An Italian doctor staying at a hotel in Spain’s Canary Islands tested positive for coronvirus and is being quarantined in a local clinic, Canary Islands president Ángel Víctor Torres confirmed Monday night on Twitter.
Carnival, other popular events shut down
Venice shut down its iconic carnival Sunday – three days early – as Italy tightened restrictions on large public gatherings that could fan the spread of the virus. Zaia made the decision after the number of cases rose to become the largest number outside Asia.
Museums in Venice, a top tourist attraction year-round, were also ordered to shut down. Elsewhere, major league soccer matches have been called off and theaters, including Milan’s legendary La Scala, have closed their doors.
Milan Fashion Week came to a close Monday with mixed responses to coronavirus concerns. Designer Giorgio Armani held his show behind closed doors Sunday and streamed the event from inside an empty showroom. Other designers continued as usual with packed runway shows as some audience members wore protective masks.
Contributing: The Associated Press