Hundreds locked down as coronavirus hits luxury resort

A luxury resort remains in lockdown with hundreds of guests being tested for coronavirus after two were diagnosed with the illness.

A doctor from northern Italy and his wife were found to be infected at the four-star H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife, Spain forcing the resort into lockdown on Tuesday.

Spain had already reported its first three cases of the disease.

Catalan regional health authorities said a 36-year-old Italian woman, a Barcelona resident, had tested positive after a recent trip to the north of Italy. Twenty-five people who came into contact with her will be quarantined at home for two weeks.

Shortly afterwards, authorities in Valencia and Madrid confirmed two more cases.

The H10 Hotel, remains in lockdown after coronavirus was confirmed. Source: Reuters

Spain's health minister, Salvador Illa, played down the severity of the outbreak, emphasising that all cases have been imported from abroad and there has not yet been any domestic transmission of the infection.

The couple at the Tenerife resort had been moved to a hospital isolation ward, and other hotel guests and staff would be tested for the virus, a process that will take some days, health authorities said.

Guests will remain there until the results of a second test on the doctor are determined and, depending on that outcome, "appropriate health measures will be taken", a Spanish government spokeswoman said.

More than 700 guests are stuck inside the hotel. Source: Reuters

More than 700 guests spanning 25 nationalities, as well as staff members, are stuck in the hotel, Canaries regional government leader Angel Victor Torres said.

Christopher Betts, an English guest from Leicestershire, said by phone from his room that there were police cars stationed at all entrances.

"We're told we're in quarantine... The hotel seems to be acting normally, except that we cannot go out," he said.

A woman looks down from one of the hotel terraces. Source: Reuters

Medical staff took the guests' temperature with digital thermometers and provided them with masks but did not perform any other tests, Mr Betts said.

Tens of thousands are expected this week in the Canary Islands for carnival festivities.

San Francisco declares emergency

London Breed, the mayor of San Francisco in California, made an emergency declaration on Tuesday (local time).

“Although there are still zero confirmed cases in San Francisco residents, the global picture is changing rapidly, and we need to step-up preparedness,” Ms Breed said in a statement.

“We see the virus spreading in new parts of the world every day, and we are taking the necessary steps to protect San Franciscans from harm.”

It will last for seven days.

The declaration will “mobilise city resources” and “accelerate emergency planning”, Ms Breed’s office said.

Its aim is also to raise awareness about practising good hygiene.

Neighbouring Santa Clara and San Diego counties have introduced similar declarations.

Italy confirms 11 dead

Algeria has reported its first confirmed case of the new coronavirus – an Italian man who arrived in the country on February 17 and has been put into isolation.

Iran's coronavirus death toll rose to 16 on Tuesday, the most outside China, while Italy reported its 11th death. The virus has jumped to about 30 countries and territories, with some three dozen deaths outside China, according to a Reuters tally.

A woman with a face mask walks through Milan's China town in Italy. Source: Getty Images

Worsening infections in Iran, Italy and South Korea are of particular concern, world health officials said. South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures to help curb the virus' global spread.

Switzerland, Austria, and Romania reported their first cases, all in people who had been to Italy.

Croatia also reported its first case of coronavirus. 

In England, four schools have shut down completely after students returned from a skiing trip in northern Italy earlier this month, the BBC reported.

Cransley School, at Cheshire in northwest England, closed after 29 students and five teachers returned from Bormio in the Lombardy region of the Alps in northern Italy.

The school’s headmaster Richard Pollock said the call to close the school’s doors was made with advice from Public Health England.

with Reuters

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