Italy's chief of staff contracts novel coronavirus

Death toll increases by 133 to reach 366 with highest daily rise since beginning of outbreak

Baris Seckin   | 09.03.2020
Italy's chief of staff contracts novel coronavirus


Italy's Chief of Staff contracted the novel coronavirus, local media reported on Sunday.

Salvatore Farina tested positive for COVID-19, the Rome-based ANSA news agency reported, adding that his condition was stable and would be quarantined at his home.

Meanwhile, President of Piedmont Alberto Cirio announced in a video message that he had tested positive for coronavirus. He quarantined himself at his home.

The leader of Italy's center-left Democratic Party on Saturday announced that he had contracted the novel coronavirus.

Also, a violent riot broke out in a prison in Modena city, northern Italy, with inmates demanding precautions against COVID-19. Security forces intervened in the incident, according to local media.

Other prisoners in the town of Frosinone in Lazio also demanded additional measures against the coronavirus outbreak, after conjugal visits were suspended due to the coronavirus, local media said.

The number of people who died in Italy due to the coronavirus recorded the steepest rise on Sunday since the beginning of the outbreak, increasing by 133 to 366.

A total of 16 million people -- about a quarter of the country's population -- across 14 provinces and the northern Lombardy region were quarantined on Sunday to prevent further spread of the virus.

First detected in Wuhan, China, in December, the virus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to more than 80 countries.

The global death toll is around 3,500, with more than 100,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

As part of efforts to contain the outbreak, governments have closed borders and suspended land and air travel with the worst-hit countries such as China, Iran, and Italy.

After declaring the outbreak an international health emergency in January, the WHO last month updated the global risk level to "very high."

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