Italian authorities are frustrated that they have not been able to trace the source of COVID-19 that is spreading in the north of the country which surfaced last week when an Italian man in his late 30s in Codogno became critically ill.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on February 24, 2020

Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Armenia have closed their land borders to Iran, and banned flights from the country, as officials in the capital city Tehran reported three new deaths and 15 new cases of coronavirus in one day.

Iran has now reported a total of eight deaths from coronavirus and 43 infections, the highest number of deaths outside China. Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, was first detected in the Iranian city of Qom and there has been a sharp increase of coronavirus across the country. Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates said people travelling from Iran had tested positive for coronavirus upon entering their territories. Iran has closed schools, universities and other educational centres in 14 provinces as “a preventative measure”.

Afghanistan closed its border with Iran after it announced it was testing three people recently returned from Iran suspected of having COVID-19.

“To avoid spreading of coronavirus the government of Afghanistan has stopped any contact with Iran via land or air. The borders are closed,” the Afghanistan National Security website said.

The first major outbreak of coronavirus in Europe is in Italy where three people, including a 75-year-old woman and a man, 78, have died. 152 people have also been detected to have coronavirus, the largest outside of China. The Venice Carnival was shut down 48 hours early short, major football matches were postponed and theatres, including Milan’s La Scala, did not open.

All rail traffic to and from Italy was halted after suspicions that a train at its southern border with Italy had two passengers possibly infected with the virus on board, AP News reported.

The virus is now present in at least 30 countries and the fear of a pandemic are rising.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte demanded an emergency meeting of government as more than 50,000 people from about a dozen towns in two northern regions were asked to stay at home. Authorities are frustrated that they have not been able to trace the source of COVID-19 that is spreading in the north which surfaced last week when an Italian man in his late 30s in Codogno became critically ill.

There are almost 78,000 cases of COVID-19 across the world, with 76,000 of them in China, where 2,442 people have died. Outside the origin of the coronavirus, there are confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, US, and Vietnam.