Italy confirms first two cases of coronavirus, stops flights from China

Italy has confirmed its first two cases of the Chinese novel coronavirus on Friday, as the World Health Organisation declares a global emergency 

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has ordered all air travel to and from China to be stopped after two Chinese nationals holidaying in Rome were diagnosed with the coronavirus
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has ordered all air travel to and from China to be stopped after two Chinese nationals holidaying in Rome were diagnosed with the coronavirus

Italy has confirmed its first two cases of the Chinese novel coronavirus on Friday. 

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte revealed that two Chinese tourists residing in a Rome hotel tested positive for the virus. Conte has since ordered all air traffic to be blocked between Italy and China.

This comes after more than 6,000 passengers and around 1,000 crew members were stuck on an Italian cruise ship north of Rome after a Chinese woman fell ill.

Officials from the Costa Smeralda ship said the woman and her partner, who had no symptoms, were put into isolation on Wednesday. Passengers were allowed to disembark on Thursday night after tests came back negative.

On Friday the coronavirus was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization, as the outbreak continues to spread outside China.

At least 213 people in China have died from the virus, mostly in Hubei, with almost 10,000 cases nationally.

The WHO said there had been 98 cases in 18 other countries, but no deaths. Most international cases are in people who had been to Wuhan in Hubei.

However, in eight cases - in Germany, Japan, Vietnam and the United States - patients were infected by people who had travelled to China.

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