Coronavirus: Italy Worst Hit In Europe As New Cases Emerge - Health

New coronavirus infections spiked dramatically across Europe on Sunday, with Italy reporting hundreds of new cases and five more deaths. The number of confirmed cases also jumped in France, Germany and the UK, and the Czech Republic reported its first case.

As the disease continued its rapid spread and governments introduced emergency measures to halt the progress of the escalating epidemic, outbreaks worsened in Iran and South Korea. The US also reported two new infections, one in Chicago and another in Rhode Island, marking the eastern state’s first case.

Italy said confirmed infections had risen 40% in 24 hours to 1,576, with the death toll now at 34. In Germany the number of people infected had almost doubled to 129 on Sunday, while France’s total stood at 100 – up from 38 on Friday.

Italy was the first European country to report a major surge in cases of the coronavirus, with numbers quickly climbing into the hundreds and has strategically affected the Italian economy according to BBC news

The authorities have responded with travel restrictions in the north of the country that are bound to hit the economy.

So far, a number of towns in Lombardy in northern Italy have been locked down, with very limited numbers of people being allowed in or out.

That matters, because northern Italy is the country's industrial powerhouse. Lombardy alone accounts for 40% of Italian industrial output. Milan is Italy's key centre for finance and a range of other services.

Milan is not one of the areas covered by the shutdown. But even so, major tourist and cultural sites such as the cathedral (the Duomo) and the opera house La Scala have been closed.

Iran meanwhile raised its death toll from 43 to 54 as its number of confirmed infections rose by more than half to 978, amid continuing concerns that official figures still do not reflect the full scale of the outbreak there.
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