Sampdoria among four Serie A matches postponed for coronavirus fears

Grant Boone
February 27, 2020

It comes after Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Minister of Health Roberto Speranza took the decision to suspend sport in the Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto.

AC Milan also announced on Sunday the postponement of their women's team's match against Fiorentina, while five Serie C games programmed for next Wednesday have been postponed.

The three other deaths were also elderly and at least two of them had serious underlying health problems.

"Now more than ever we have a duty to be prudent and responsible", Italy's sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora said.

Scare reaches Milan Fashion Week A dozen towns in northern Italy are now effectively in lockdown after a growing cluster of cases were reported with no direct links to the origin of the outbreak overseas.

However, officials did intercept a coach from Milan to Lyon over concerns one Italian on board might have the virus, having displayed flu-like symptoms.

Locals wearing face masks were already lined up outside a supermarket in the town of Casalpusterlengo, a 10-minute drive from Codogno, on Sunday morning.

Among the worst-affected is the northern Lombardy region, which includes Italy's financial capital of Milan.

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Lombardy, the region in Italy most badly affected by the virus, announced 53 new coronavirus cases on Sunday night, bringing the total there to 165 in only four days.

Authorities have still not determined the first carrier of COVID-19 in Italy but are surveilling and quarantining those who may have been exposed to the virus. Italy on January 31 barred flights to and from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, began screening all arriving passengers at its airports and declared a state of emergency to free up funding for containment measures.

Hundreds of residents and workers who came into contact with 54 people who tested positive for the virus in Italy were put into isolation pending results of their tests.

"The initial suspected patient zero was not the real patient zero", said Carla Torti, a professor of infectious diseases at Magna Graecia University in Catanzaro, in Calabria.

The EU's health security committee was meeting Monday to take stock of developments, notably in Italy. At first, we thought that the virus was only overseas, but now it is also in Italy.

"It is an incredible time".

The Foreign Ministry has noted that the coronavirus outbreak and the measures to contain it are changing fast, urging those headed to Italy to check the latest situation with their hosts, travel agencies or hotels. "The past few weeks has demonstrated just how quickly a new virus cans spread around the world and cause widespread fear and disruption", WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference in Stockholm via a video link.

South Korea has reported the largest number of confirmed infections after China and the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the coast of Japan, which has seen more than 600 cases.

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