UK & Italy confirm first coronavirus cases

Updated 04:24 PM

Coronavirus test negative for passenger aboard Italian cruise ship

The Costa Smeralda cruise ship is docked at the Italian port of Civitavecchia
Italian cruise ship Costa Smeralda carrying some 6,000 passengers is pictured docked at the Italian port of Civitavecchia as tests are carried out on a passenger from Macau to see if she has coronavirus, in Civitavecchia, Italy, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

The first two cases of coronavirus have been reported in Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

According to the Medical Officer for England, two people from the same family resulted positive to the virus and are now being treated in Newcastle, in a specialist centre.

Till do date over 200 people have died in China from coronavirus and almost 10,000 cases have been reported.

98 cases have been reported in other countries including Australia, Italy and now the United Kingdom.

Italy has also confirmed its first cases of the deadly coronavirus, shortly after the outbreak was declared a global health emergency. Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, revealed that two Chinese tourists have tested positive for the virus.

He has since ordered all air traffic to be blocked between Italy and China. “As far as we know we are the first country in the EU to adopt such a measure,” Conte said.

A test carried out on Thursday on a passenger from Macau aboard a cruise ship in Italy proved she did not have the new coronavirus, an Italian health ministry spokesman said. 

The Costa Crociere company’s ship Costa Smeralda docked in Civitavecchia, north of Rome, with about 6,000 people aboard. The mayor of the town had asked authorities to prevent passengers from disembarking until it had been confirmed the virus was not present.

The 54-year-old woman, who boarded the ship on Jan. 25 in the port of Savona, had come down with a fever and flu-like symptoms. Both she and her partner were placed in an isolation unit on the ship, Costa Crociere said in a statement.

The Costa Smeralda had visited Marseilles in France and the Spanish ports of Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca this week before docking on Thursday at Civitavecchia.

Samples were taken to Rome’s Spallanzani institute, a centre specializing in infectious diseases and viruses that confirmed there was no infection, the health ministry added.

On Thursday, the World Health Organization declared that the coronavirus epidemic in China now constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.

Countries have begun isolating hundreds of citizens evacuated from the locked down Chinese city of Wuhan to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed 170 people.

The passengers on board the Italian cruise ship reacted in different ways to the potential virus danger.

In the light of the emergency MSC Crociere, another European cruise company, said in a statement that anyone who had visited mainland China in the past 30 days would be denied access to its ships.