Italy declares state of emergency to prevent coronavirus spread after two confirmed cases

The Italian government has declared a state of emergency after two Chinese tourists tested positive for the novel coronavirus, PM Conte’s office reported.

Late on Thursday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that two Chinese tourists who were visiting Italy had contracted the virus, adding that the government had decided to close air traffic to and from China.

The two Chinese tourists were put in an isolation unit of Rome’s Spallanzani institute.

Authorities are trying to track their contacts to prevent a further spread.

The World Health Organization has declared that the coronavirus outbreak that has killed 213 people in China now constitutes a global public health emergency.