Coronavirus Italy: Death toll climbs to 29, 1,128 infected

Italian authorities say the country now has more than 1,000 coronavirus cases and 29 people infected with the virus have died.

The head of Italy’s civil protection agency said during a news conference that the total number reached 1,128 on Saturday. Officials also reported eight more deaths in the previous 24 hours.

Civil protection chief Angelo Borrelli said 52% of the people who tested positive for the virus in Italy are being isolated in their homes and not hospitalized.

Health authorities said they suspect the new cases confirmed since Friday involved infections acquired before Italy shut down 11 towns in northern Italy on Feb. 21.

They said it would take at least two weeks — the period of incubation — for the effect of the containment measures to show up in fewer new cases.

A U.S. government advisory urging Americans to reconsider travel to Italy due to the spread of a new virus is the “final blow” to the nation’s tourism industry, the head of Italy’s hotel federation said Saturday.

The U.S. State Department issued a level three travel advisory – the second-highest level of warning – for the whole of Italy late Friday, saying that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had recommended “avoiding nonessential travel.”

Other major countries have issued warnings for only defined areas of northern Italy where most cases of the new coronavirus are clustered.

Read: Coronavirus spread takes a toll on Italy’s tourism industry