On 28 February 2020, as of 12.46 GMT, first cases of COVID-19 infection were being reported in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Lithuania, New Zealand and Nigeria.
In the case of the New Zealand and Belarus, the patients had recently returned from Iran, while those infected in Nigeria and Lithuania appear to have contracted the virus in Italy.
The extent of the Coronavirus pandemic’s spread in both Italy and Iran is highlighted by the number of cases across Europe attributable to recent travel to both countries, with Milan in particular being a major hotspot for travellers reporting infections.
On 27 February 2020, Protezione Civile announced that 650 people were currently infected in Italy. Of these 56 are in intensive care (8.6%), 248 are hospitalised with symptoms (38.2%), 284 are in home isolation (48.7%), 45 have recovered (6.9%), and 17 are unaccounted for. There must surely be a larger population of infected persons who have not reported for whatever reason, whose results are not yet available, or who are not even aware that they have been infected.
The northern regions of Italy appear to be worst hit with Lombardy reporting 403 cases, Veneto 111 cases and Emilia-Romagna 97 cases.
Source: Facquis – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
Of the twelve new cases reported in Spain on 27 February 2020, eleven reported recent travel to Italy. Likewise, today’s new case in Spain is a 27-year-old woman in Zaragoza has recently returned from Milan.
The first cases in Lithuania, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Denmark, Romania, North Macedonia and Greece are all being attributed to travel from Italy.
Italy’s first cases were confirmed on 31 January 2020 when two Chinese tourists tested positive for nCoV-2019 in Rome. Beyond Italy, other European countries are facing significant outbreaks, including Germany with 49 cases, France with 41 and Spain with 26.
Multiple countries are now prohibiting travel from Italy, not recommending it, or increasing screening measures at airports.
Picture by Dipartimento Protezione Civile – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, Link. Picture cropped.