Three more people die of coronavirus in Italy as virus takes hold of Europe

26 February 2020, 00:40 | Updated: 26 February 2020, 09:20

Ten people have died in Italy of coronavirus
Ten people have died in Italy of coronavirus. Picture: PA

Three more people in northern Italy have died, bringing the total number of deaths in the European country to ten, it has been confirmed.

Travellers who arrive to the UK from Italy are being urged to self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms or not.

Italy has so far had 229 people test positive for the virus - officially known as Covid-19 - and around a dozen towns in the north of the country have now been placed under quarantine in an effort to stem the spread.

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "The official advice which will be formally updated at eight o'clock this morning is going to change so that those who have been to northern Italy - north of Pisa - if they have flu-like symptoms should self-isolate.

"If people have been to the affected areas that the Italian government have quarantined then they should self-isolate whether or not they have symptoms."

So far there have been no reports of any Britons being trapped in the areas of northern Italy which have been quarantined.

At the time of writing, 2,706 have died from the virus worldwide, with 80,410 testing positive across 40 countries.

There have been 77,666 confirmed cases of the disease in China , with 2,664 people perishing.

South Korea has the second-highest number of infections, with 977 cases and 11 deaths.

The Diamond Princess, a cruise ship moored off the coast of Japan, has the third highest concentration of cases, with 691 passengers going down with the disease. Four people have also died.

Britain has so far had 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with eight patients so far recovering and the other five receiving medical treatment.

Multiple schools around the UK have also closed, as a precaution against coronavirus after students returned from ski trips in Italy.

Cransley School in Northwich, Cheshire, and Trinity Catholic College in Middlesbrough have both been closed for the rest of the week.

Both schools said that this was to allow for a "deep clean" after pupils and teachers had returned from northern Italy.

Meanwhile, Sandbach High School in Cheshire said students and staff who visited Aprica, also in the Lombardy region, were to stay indoors and self-isolate.

However, a message on the school's website said no-one at the school was showing any symptoms of the virus.

A third Cheshire school, Brine Leas School in Nantwich, said on Twitter it had closed its sixth form due to staff shortages.

The message followed an earlier tweet which said the academy was "following Government advice regarding travel to Italy."

Elsewhere, students from Penair School in Truro, Cornwall, were sent home on Tuesday morning after attending a ski trip.

Salendine Nook High School in Huddersfield, and Newquay Tretherras in Newquay have both advised some students and staff to stay at home after returning from skiing trips.

It comes as about 50 pupils and staff from a school in Ballymena in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland, were sent home after visiting the same region in northern Italy.

The group did not visit the nine towns affected by the infection and are showing no symptoms, but travelled through Milan airport, Cambridge House Grammar School principal Elma Lutton said.