A second person, who tested positive for the new coronavirus, died in Italy where around thirty cases of contamination have been identified so far, including more than 25 in Lombardy (region of Milan), announced Italian news agencies.
The second victim who had been hospitalized for ten days and died from viral pneumonia is an Italian resident in Lombardy (north), where more than a dozen cities have been placed in semi-containment since Friday.
The first death in Italy, that of a 78-year-old man, had been announced overnight. The man had been hospitalized for ten days in Veneto, in northern Italy, for a disease not related to the coronavirus, according to the Ministry of Health, but a test confirmed that he had been contaminated.
Adriano T., a retired bricklayer, was one of the newly infected cases in Veneto which became three overnight, according to local authorities. Five doctors and eleven others have been identified as carriers of the new coronavirus in Lombardy. Other than the doctors, the other people frequented the same bar and the same group of friends.
Of the three cases in Veneto, the president of the region Luca Zaia, interviewed on Rainews24 said he was puzzled on Saturday morning: “We are having tests done around them, the big question is the origin (of this home) because these people had had no contact with Chinese people nor particular contacts “with people returning from China. Apart from the 78-year-old patient who died overnight, the two other suspected cases are between 66 and 67 years old.
This wave of contamination has forced the Italian authorities to take drastic measures.
In total, 22 cases of contamination have been identified so far in Italy, the country most affected in Europe by the epidemic of viral pneumonia which started in China in December.
Eleven cities impacted
Bars, schools, churches, and stadiums: public places were closed for a week on Friday in eleven cities in northern Italy. The measure also affects libraries, town halls, shops and the many carnival parades organized at this time of the year. Schools were closed on Saturday in the big city near Cremona. Trains were stopped at Milan and Lecce (Puglia) stations on Friday evening to drop passengers with flu-like symptoms.
The decision to semi-contain a dozen cities was taken by the Ministry of Health after a first indigenous Italian home was identified in Codogno, near Lodi, with the contamination of 14 people, including a 38-year-old man. years hospitalized since Wednesday.
In this area, located about 60 km south-east of Milan, more than 50,000 people are asked to stay at home and avoid closed places. A total of 40 stadiums and sports halls will be closed to amateur competitions as well as places of worship.
— g🏠 (@gggiulssss) February 21, 2020
“We are asking residents to stay at home in the areas affected by the epidemic,” said Minister of Health Roberto Speranza during a press conference in Rome with representatives from the Lombardy region.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, questioned in Brussels by the Italian press, wanted to be reassuring by stressing that Italy “applies a very high level of precaution”.
The streets are deserted in Codogno, a town of 15,000 inhabitants near Lodi, where six new Italian cases were detected and which was the first to close everything, including food stores. No one either in the emergency room of the local hospital except for the masked nurses when changing rotations. “Lots of people in the car looking for an open store,” he said, noting that a bakery was still open as well as a pharmacy.
“It’s incredible: now the (situation of) China that we see on television, it’s home,” said the owner of a bakery interviewed by the agency Agi.
About 250 people including 70 doctors and nursing assistants were placed in solitary confinement, the time to submit them to tests after they had been in contact with the 14 cases from Lombardy.
The first case of Codogno, a 38-year-old Italian man working for Unilever, is hospitalized in intensive care in serious condition. His 8-month pregnant wife, a friend with whom he played football and three people who frequented a bar in the small town near Castiglione d’Adda, are among the known cases.
A total of 16 people tested positive in Lombardy, all around Codogno, including five doctors who had treated this framework.
The Lombardy health authorities have not identified with certainty the person causing the contagion, but it could be an Italian who returned from China in January who allegedly had dinner with the 38-year-old manager on several occasions.
Detection tests still in progress
The 60 employees at Unilever’s local headquarters in Casalpusterlengo were also tested for the virus.
Italy has so far had only three cases of coronavirus, all contracted outside the country and treated in Rome, among which two Chinese tourists who were placed at one time in intensive therapy but whose condition has improved significantly in recent days.
Also, an Italian infected with the new coronavirus and who was on the cruise ship Diamond Princess in Japan was repatriated on Saturday morning with around thirty Italian passengers who were placed in quarantine.