Foreign Affairs
Panic increases in Italy with seven deaths and 220 persons infected

Coronavirus victims world-wide have risen to 2,600 with Italy becoming the most affected country outside Asia with seven deaths reported today in Italy while over 220 other persons infected with the virus.

The European Union is not imposing travel restrictions towards Italy, however it allocated €230 million for the Italian authorities to combat the Coronavirus spreading.

The World Health Organisation stated its concern with the deaths in Italy, saying that currently there is no need to declare a pandemic however it called on countries to prepare for this eventuality.

In Milan, panic and concern among residents due to the virus spreading was reflected by empty shelves in supermarkets which today could not meet with consumers demands to buy their necessities, fearing they end up without food products and other supplies.

Currently, there were seven elderly persons who died after being infected by the Coronvirus, while over 220 others are being treated for the virus.

Scenes of empty roads prevailed in the north of Italy, especially in small villages of the Lombardy region where most cases of the virus were reported. In Casalpusterlungo and nearby villages, some 50,000 residents were isolated with Police taking strict measures to reduce travel in the quarantined villages.

Venice was also affected as many tourists cancelled their holidays in the town while authorities also cancelled the Carnival celebrations, a decision opposed by many carnival enthusiasts.

Malta’s ambassador to Italy, Joseph Cuschieri who is based in Rome, said the situation is one of concern. “My concern is that cases are increasing and not decreasing; I hope that the Italian government’s measures provide results and there will be absolute control over the situation”.

The World Health Organisation said it is very worried with the deaths in Italy and called on countries to prepare for an eventuality of declaring a pandemic. This followed significant increase in deaths and infection cases in Iran and South Korea, while other countries declared they have infected patients.

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