Italy plans to close all schools as death toll from outbreak hits 79, Latest World News - The New Paper

Italy plans to close all schools as death toll from outbreak hits 79

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DUBAI : Italy witnessed the largest increase in deaths since the coronavirus outbreak surfaced 12 days ago in the wealthy northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto.

Covid-19 took 27 livesover the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of dead to 79, the Civil Protection Department said.

With more than 2,500 confirmed infections, Italy is also planning to close all schools and universities from today. Only those in the northern regions most heavily affected by the epidemic have been closed so far.

Th ecountry is also planning to ban public gatherings and encouraged people to avoid kissing as a form of greeting.

The situation in Iran is equally dire. The coronavirus has affected almost all of Iran's provinces but the country will get through the outbreak with a "minimum" number of deaths, President Hassan Rouhani said yesterday.

"This disease is a widespread disease," he said during a Cabinet meeting, according to the official presidency website.

"It has reached almost all our provinces and in one sense, it is a global disease."

Iran's Health Ministry on Tuesday announced 92 people had died from coronavirus, one of the highest death tolls outside China where the outbreak originated. It said 2,922 people had been infected with it.

Among those infected is First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri, the IranWire news site reported, citing an "informed source". There was no immediate confirmation from officials.

The situation in India worrying as well.

Sixteen Italians in India have tested positive for coronavirus, the Indian Health Minister said yesterday, as the total number of known cases in the country rose sharply to 28.

The authorities are increasing screenings at airports and border crossings, and urging citizens to avoid large crowds.

Malaysia recorded its largest single-day increase of 14 infections yesterday. All of the 14 confirmed cases were found to have been in close contact with Patient 26.

This is in addition to the seven positive cases announced on Monday, which are all linked to the same patient.

The total number of people infected so far has reached 50. - REUTERS, THE STAR