11 dead as Coronavirus outbreak spreads

Italy will emerge from crisis with head held high - Conte

(ANSA) - Rome, February 25 - Eleven people have now died as Italy's coronavirus outbreak has spread from Lombardy and Veneto to Sicily, Tuscany and Liguria Tuesday and Premier Giuseppe Conte said the country would emerge form the crisis with its head held high.
    Eleven people have died from the coronavirus in Italy, commissioner Angelo Borrelli told a press conference Tuesday.
    He said three 80-year-olds had died in the last few hours.
    Also, a 76-year-old woman died of the coronavirus in Treviso on Tuesday after being admitted earlier in the day for respiratory complications.
    Some 322 people have been infected with the virus in Italy, said the civil protection chief.
    The number of those infected in Sicily has risen to three, he said.
    Borrelli, who is also civil protection chief, added that two suspected cases in Tuscany have been confirmed including a 63-year-old businessman in Florence.
    He also said there was a suspected case in Sicily that is subject to the final checks. The Sicilian case is that of tourist from the northern city of Bergamo who tested positive in Palermo after being admitted to the Sicilian city's Cervello hospital with flu symptoms. So far seven people with the coronavirus have died in Italy - all of them over 60 and several with pre-existing conditions.
    The worst-hit region is Lombardy, where nine people have died and 240 people have contracted the deadly disease. There have been two deaths and 43 cases in Veneto, 26 in Emilia-Romagna, three in Piedmont, three in Lazio, one in Bolzano and now two in Tuscany and three in Sicily.
    The first case of coronavirus has been registered in Liguria, the regional government said Tuesday.
    It is a woman tourist from came from one of the 'red zones' in Lombardy and tested positive in Alassio, Liguria Governor Giovanni Toti said.
    Toti said isolation measures had been taken in an Alassio hotel.
    He said the woman had come into contact, without protection, with staff at an ER at Albenga and had now been moved to a hospital in Genoa, where she is in isolation.
    An Italian doctor also tested positive on Tenerife.
    The Lazio cases are that of an Italian researcher who was brought back from Wuhan and has recovered and two Chinese tourists being treated at Rome's Spallanzani hospital, also out of the woods. There are 109 people in hospital, plus another 29 in intensive care, while 137 are in isolation at home.
    Only 3% of Italian coronavirus patients have died, and all of them had pre-existing conditions, Walter Ricciardi of the World Health Organization told a Rome press conference Tuesday.
    "We must scale back this great alarm," said Ricciardi, a former director at Italy's Higher Health Institute (ISS).
    "Of 100 sick people, 80 get well of their own accord, 15 have serious but manageable problems, 5% are extremely serious, of which 3% die". "Furthermore, as you know, all the people who died already had serious health conditions".
    He said the alarm "is right, is not to be underestimated, but the disease must be placed within the correct terms".
    Italy will emerge with its head held high from the coronavirus emergency, Premier Giuseppe Conte told a press conference at the civil protection department in Rome Tuesday.
    He said the emergency had given the government "greater determination" to boost the economy amid reports the virus may help trigger a recession this year.
    Lombardy Governor Attilio Fontana hit back hard on Tuesday after Conte said that the failure of a hospital at Codogno near Lodi to follow the proper procedure contributed to the spread of the coronavirus. "There was a hotspot and it spread from there in part due to the management of a hospital that was not done entirely according to the prudent protocols that are recommended in these cases," Conte said.
    "This contributed to the spread". "I hope this is a slip of the tongue that came out without him realising," Fontana told RAI radio.
    "Otherwise it means the government is starting to spin out of control.
    "The comments are groundless and unacceptable". Lombardy Welfare Chief Giulio Gallera went even further.
    "It was an unacceptable comment from an ignorant person because he is ignorant of what the protocols set by the Higher Health Institute (ISS) were," Gallera said. "We have slavishly following what the ISS decided and the (health) ministry's guidelines".
    Fontana later said he had "patched things up with Conte" after the premier reportedly admitted he had been wrong to criticise the Codogno hospital. "Conte himself corrected himself, (saying that) the hospital in Codogno did not make any mistakes", said Fontana.
   

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