Italy confirms first human-transmitted coronavirus case (UPDATE)

epaselect epa08234241 People wearing face masks walk with portable medical equipment outside the Codogno Civic Hospital, where the Emergency Room has been closed as a precautionary measure, near Lodi, northern Italy, 21 February 2020. Six people have been reported infected with the novel coronavirus in Italy, all in the region of Lombardy, authorities said on 21 February. Residents of Codogno have been advised by regional authorities to stay at home as a protective measure and avoid all social contact. EPA-EFE/MAURIZIO MAULE

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Update: Italian news agencies and media outlets are reporting the first death due to the Coronavirus.

UPDATE: Six people have been infected with the coronavirus in Lombardy, regional welfare councillor Giulio Gallera said Friday. They are all about 40 years of age. Read more here 

Earlier : An Italian national has tested positive for the new coronavirus after meeting a friend who had recently returned from China, the northern Lombardy region said on Friday.

It is the first known case of local transmission of the potentially deadly illness in Italy.

ANSA news agency reported that the first is a man, 38, who is believed to have got the virus after dining with a friend who had come back from China.

The other two infected people are the 38-year-old’s wife who has also been admitted to the Codogno hospital, and a third person who went to hospital suffering symptoms of pneumonia after having had contact with the 38-year-old.  The 38-year-old man has been admitted to the intensive care ward of a hospital at Codogno near Lodi in northern Italy.

He is said to be in a very serious condition, with respiratory insufficiency. Doctors said they are reserving judgement on his prognosis.

New research suggesting the virus is more contagious than previously thought added to the alarm. And in China, where the virus has killed more than 2,100 people and infected nearly 75,000, officials changed their methodology for reporting infections, creating new doubt about data they have cited as evidence their strategy is working.

Elsewhere, in Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters have all but vanished from the streets of Hong Kong over the past month as residents avoid the new coronavirus, but the outbreak has broadened discontent with the city’s leadership and China’s influence on the financial hub.

Iraq banned border crossings by Iranian nationals for three days from Thursday amid fears of the coronavirus, Iraq’s state news agency said on Thursday. The decision came after Iraqi Airways suspended flights to Iran.

The streets of South Korea‘s fourth-largest city were abandoned on Thursday, with residents holed up indoors after dozens of people caught the new coronavirus in what authorities described as a “super-spreading event” at a church. The deserted shopping malls and cinemas of Daegu, a city of 2.5 million people, became one of the most striking images outside China of an outbreak that international authorities are trying stop from becoming a global pandemic.


Via Reuters / Ansa 

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