A 78-year-old Italian is the first European to die after being infected with the new coronavirus in Italy, where a part of the north of the country has barricaded himself since Friday February 21 after several cases of contamination. Another person died on the peninsula.
Read also: Coronavirus: the number of cases slows in China, one dead in Italy
The first patient had been hospitalized for ten days in Veneto, in northern Italy, for a disease unrelated to the coronavirus, according to the Ministry of Health, but a test confirmed that he had been contaminated. Adriano Trevisan, a retired bricklayer, was one of the newly identified cases infected in Veneto. 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, the two other suspected cases are 66 and 67 years old.
A total of 22 cases of contamination have so far been identified in Italy, the country most affected in Europe by the epidemic.
Southeast of Milan, more than 50,000 people are asked to stay at home. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP
This wave of contamination has forced the Italian authorities to take drastic measures. 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 as well as the numerous 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 man of 38 years hospitalized since Wednesday.
In Codogno. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP
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.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wanted to be reassuring by stressing that Italy " applies a very high level of precaution ".
" 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 responsible for the contagion, but it could be an Italian who returned from China in January who has had dinner several times with the manager of 38 years.
In the deserted streets of Codogno, Saturday February 22. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP