Coronavirus – Italy poised to ban KISSING as 27 die in just a DAY and baby among 2,263 to catch virus – The Sun03/04/2020
ITALY is considering a ban on kissing among a series of tough measures to tackle the worst coronavirus outbreak outside Asia.
Another 27 patients died in the country yesterday, taking the death toll to 79 as the number of infections rose to 2,263 including a newborn baby.
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Authorities are said to be considering extending a quarantine zone to include the industrial town of Bergamo, with a population of 120,000.
It would join ten other towns in the worst-hit Lombardy region and one in Veneto, where a total of 55,000 residents are under lockdown behind police road blocks.
And it was reported officials are poised to ban greetings such as cheek kissing, hugging and shaking hands.
It comes after Italians were told yesterday to stand at least 3ft apart in public spaces including pubs, restaurants, shops and churches.
The one metre rule is based on how far droplets of saliva can travel through the air when people speak.
Other measures already in place include a ban on public gatherings and schools closures in the north of Italy.
Italy's three worst-hit regions — Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna — have extended the closure of schools for another week.
Giovanni Rezza, the head of the infectious diseases department at the national health institute, said schools were now a big concern.
He said: “Not because children are vulnerable — they don’t suffer as much as adults — but they can transmit it to parents and grandparents.”
Health experts have advised the government to tell older people across Italy to stay indoors as much as possible, extending an order already in place northern regions.
One in ten virus patients end up in intensive care, almost all of them aged over 65, officials said.
What to do if you're worried you've got coronavirus
The new coronavirus is continuing to sweep its way across the globe with Britain seeing more cases in people who aren't linked to outbreaks overseas.
Symptoms of Covid-19 can include:
- a cough
- a high temperature
- difficulty breathing
In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus.
But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract, it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease or people with weakened immune systems.
It is incredibly contagious and is spread through contact with anything the virus is on as well as infected breath, coughs or sneezes.
The best way to prevent catching any form of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene.
If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with others.
You should also cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze then throw it away and wash your hands.
Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces which you may have touched is also important.
If you have returned from Wuhan in the last 14 days:
- Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with other flu viruses
- Call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the city
- your recent travel to the city
If you are in Northern Ireland, call your GP.
Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.
Meanwhile, leading symptom-checking provider to the NHS Doctorlink has been updated to help identify patients' risk of having coronavirus.
Last week the Pope was keen kissing and embracing the faithful in St Peter's Square before the Vatican said he had fallen ill with a cold.
He later tested negative for coronavirus.
And French president Emmanuel Macron greeted Italian premier Giuseppe Conte with a double cheek kiss in Naples.
France, which has more than 200 cases, has since told citizens to avoid the the traditional "bise" greeting to help contain the disease.
Health minister Olivier Véran warned at the weekend: "The reduction in social contacts of a physical nature is advised.
"That includes the practice of the bise. The virus is circulating in our territory and we must now slow down its spread."
The UK government's travel advice for Brits warns against all but essential travel to the towns that have been isolated in Italy since February 22.
Pictures show tourist sites in Milan, Rome and Venice almost deserted and airlines have cancelled hundreds of flights.
In the UK, the chief medical officer warned Britons will die in the Covid-19 outbreak as the NHS declared the highest level of emergency.
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