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Corona virus crisis meeting in Italy

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Due to the spread of the novel corona virus, a crisis meeting is taking place in Rome today. The Italian government invited the health ministers of neighboring countries and Germany. Minister of Health Rudolf Anschober (Greens) will also attend the meeting in the Italian capital. According to the Italian civil defense, the meeting will provide advice on possible joint measures.

Italy quickly became the largest focus of the novel virus in Europe: seven deaths have now been recorded, and more than 200 people have been diagnosed with infections until yesterday, especially in Lombardy. There is a “probable” case in South Tyrol. The Italian authorities took strict measures to contain the virus. Eleven cities in the north of the country were cordoned off.

Cases in Florence and Palermo

The virus threatens to spread to southern Italy. Two cases of infection were reported in Florence and Palermo, Italian media reported. An Italian doctor on vacation in Tenerife also tested positive.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, however, accused a Lombard hospital of failing to comply with epidemic prevention regulations. Conte accused the Codogno hospital in the province of Lodi, where several people are said to have contracted the coronavirus. Conte did not rule out the possibility that the government could assume the public health responsibilities that the regions currently have.

Expert team sent to Italy

At the beginning of the week, a team from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) arrived. The experts want to support the Italian health authorities in their fight against the virus and efforts to contain it.

The corona virus is „a new virus that we have to take very seriously,“ said WHO European Director Hans Kluge. Therefore, there is close cooperation with the member states in order to prepare them for the occurrence of the lung disease and a possible local spread.