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Italy’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte and Education Minister, Lucia Azzolina

In Italy, COVID-19, an influenza epidemic has reached an alarming level as the government declared in the interim, a ten-day closure of all schools, universities and academic institutions across the country, beginning tomorrow, Thursday 5th February, to help prevent the spread of the raging Coronavirus.

Italy’s Education Minister, Lucia Azzolina, while addressing a media conference confirmed that schools across the country will remain closed from Thursday, 5th March, until 15th March, at the earliest, as a precautionary measure to help stem the tide of infection.

Earlier, Italy’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, had warned that the country’s health system was at risk of being overwhelmed by the coronavirus outbreak.

Passengers arriving from domestic, international and Schengen flights are being ushered into corridors ahead of the checks, to allow Red Cross employees to take body temperatures, at Leonardo Da Vinci airport, Rome, Italy, 04 February 2020. EPA-EFE/Telenews

Statistics from the Public Health of Italy revealed that the death toll had risen from 29 to 107 while the number of people infected with the virus as at today, stands at 3,090 – which was an increase of over 500.

The Prime Minister further explained that mismanagement of ‘security protocols’ at one of the hospitals in northern Italy had greatly exacerbated the impact of the outbreak.

However, the Education Minister also announced a plan to increase the number of intensive care beds by 50 per cent while integrated public education had begun in all the nooks and crannies of Italy.

Disinfecting the arrival hall of Leonardo Davinci International Airport, Italy

Italy is now the hardest-hit nation outside of China, the original source of the novel coronavirus outbreak in December last year. Some 276 people who were originally infected in Italy, during the initial outbreak in the country were reported two weeks ago to have been fully recovered.

Also today, the German government labelled the coronavirus outbreak a “global pandemic’’, while two European Union officials were announced to have tested positive in Brussels, for the Coronavirus.

Hence the European Defence Agency announced the indefinite suspension of all her meetings.

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