Coronavirus: First children infected in Italy – BBC News
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The outbreak of coronavirus in Italy is getting worse, BBC correspondent Bethany Bell reports.
The authorities say four children have been infected, the first such cases in this county.
Twelve people have died – all of them either elderly or with underlying health problems.
Several cases in other European countries have been reported among people who have recently been in northern Italy.
On a visit to Rome, the EU’s health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said the situation was a cause for concern but not for panic. Schools, universities, museums, cinemas and theatres remain closed across much of the north.
A number of tourists have cancelled their visits. There are fears the outbreak could send Italy’s economy in recession.
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Several European countries have announced their first coronavirus cases, all apparently linked to the growing outbreak in Italy.
Austria, Croatia and Switzerland said the cases involved people who had been to Italy, as did Algeria in Africa.
The first positive virus test has been recorded in Latin America – a Brazilian resident just returned from Italy.
Italy has in recent days become Europe’s worst-affected country, with more than 300 cases and 11 deaths.
But its neighbours have decided closing borders would be “disproportionate”.
Health ministers from France, Germany, Italy and the EU Commission committed to keeping frontiers open at a meeting on Tuesday as new cases of the virus emerged throughout Europe and in central and southern Italy.