Tourist cancellations reach 90% in Rome over coronavirus fears

Empty bars and street in the Navigli area, one of the areas of the Milan's nightlife, Italy, 26 February 2020. Officials said that the number of people which have died due to the COVID-19 coronavirus in Italy has climbed to 12 while more than 400 persons have contracted the virus. EPA-EFE/Matteo Corner

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Tourist cancellations have reached 90% in Rome for March due to the coronavirus emergency, sector bodies said Wednesday.

Bookings are down 60% for next month, Assoturismo Confesercenti Roma e Lazio and Fiavet Lazio said.

Bookings are also “sharply down” up to June, they said.

Italy sought to rally international support for its virus containment efforts Wednesday even as its caseload reached 447, people linked to Italy fell ill across Europe and as far away as Brazil, and the U.N.’s health agency urged a scaled-up response.

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte’s government appealed to European neighbors for cooperation, not isolation and discrimination. Italy has been struggling to contain the rapidly spreading outbreak that made it the country with more coronavirus cases outside Asia than anywhere else.

“Viruses don’t know borders and they don’t stop at them,” Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza insisted at the start of a crisis meeting with World Health Organization and European Union representatives in Rome.

Twelve people infected with the virus have died in Italy since Friday, all of them elderly, having other health conditions or both, civil protection chief Angelo Borelli said.

Read more via Fiavet Lazio/ANSA

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