ROME, February 23. /TASS/. A woman died of the novel coronavirus in Cremona, in the Lombardy region in northern Italy, ANSA news agency said on Sunday citing the regional authorities.
The woman, who suffered from cancer, was said to be in serious condition at Cremona hospital. She tested positive for the coronavirus.
According to latest reports, the number of confirmed cases is 137 in Italy. Two people have died. It is highly likely the fatalities were caused by complications and late diagnosis of the disease caused by the newly identified coronavirus COVID-19.
Most cases have been confirmed in Lombardy and Veneto in northern Italy, which introduced an emergency lockdown in many municipalities. Schools and a wide range of public events will be closed in Lombardy starting on Monday. The closures will affect museums and theaters, such as Milan’s La Scala opera house. Local authorities say that bars and discos are also banned, but restaurants and stores still remain open. Strict quarantine restrictions have been imposed on ten municipalities around Lodi in Lombardy, where the local epicenter of the outbreak was identified.
In the nearby Veneto region, quarantine measures were also declared to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Venice Carnival is being suspended as one of them.
The recent hike in coronavirus cases in Italy could not been prevented even with the help of measures taken by the government, which in particular, suspended flights to and from China on January 31 and passengers are screened with thermal scanners at airports. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte admitted that the number of cases could surge.
In late December 2019, a pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan, an economic and industrial megacity with a population of 12 million. The World Health Organization declared the new coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, characterizing it as an epidemic with multiple locations. Apart from China, 27 other countries, including Russia, have reported confirmed coronavirus cases.