ROME — The number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in Italy has risen to 283, local media reported Tuesday, while the death toll now stands at seven.
Globally, Italy is in third place for the highest number of people infected with the COVID-19 virus, with only China and South Korea reporting more cases (over 77,000 and 893, respectively).
By far the greatest number of those confirmed with the illness come from the northern Italian region of Lombardy (206), followed by Veneto (38), and Emilia Romagna (19). Between Monday and Tuesday the number of cases of infection in Italy jumped by 54.
Among the measures being taken to prevent the spread of the virus, all sporting events both private and public have been suspended in the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Veneto and Piedmont.
All school trips have also been cancelled throughout the country until March 15.
Other countries are beginning to take precautions as well, with Kuwait banning flights to and from Italy, Bulgarian Air suspending flights to and from Milan, and Prague Airport dedicating a specific gate for planes arriving from Italy.
“This is not the time for polemics,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced Tuesday. “We have to work, controversy does not interest me.”
“I am confident,” Mr. Conte added. “We will get it done by all working together with the single objective of our citizens’ health. So ‘no’ to dramatization and alarmism, we must act to contain the problem.”
The Catholic Church in Italy is taking its own measures, with the Archdiocese of Naples and others inviting the faithful to abstain from the usual handshakes at the “greeting of peace” during Mass and to receive Holy Communion on the hand, rather than directly on the tongue.
Not all the news has been negative, however, and cases are also beginning to emerge of those who had been infected with the virus but who have now healed and no longer test positive.