Italy reported its first confirmed coronavirus cases Friday with two Chinese citizens hospitalized earlier in the week.
“There are two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Rome. Thus, the first coronavirus cases have been seen in Italy,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said at a press conference with Health Minister Roberto Speranza and Giuseppe Ippolito, director of the Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases.
“We are extremely cautious and careful. We are not unprepared,” Conte added.
Conte said Speranza gave the order to suspend air traffic between Italy and China.
Italian media reported that the Chinese tourists with the coronavirus had entered Italy from Milan and came to Rome for sightseeing, spending 10 days in total.
Meanwhile, it was reported that the hotel room in Cavour Street where the Chinese tourists stayed in Rome was sealed and quarantined.
The novel coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, which originated in Wuhan city, China, is said to have been transmitted to humans from animals, particularly bats.
The virus has raised alarm globally with cases reported across Asia, Europe, the U.S. and Canada.
Travelers from China are being screened for the virus at airports worldwide. Several airlines have suspended flights to Wuhan.
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