Thousands blocked on an Italian ship because of the new coronavirus

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Nearly 6,000 people were stranded aboard an Italian cruise ship at Civitavecchia port after symptoms of a viral illness were discovered in a Chinese couple from Hong Kong, Reuters and TASS reported.

The spouses were accommodated in the ship’s sanitary isolator. According to RAI News 24, they were feverish and had respiratory problems. The couple arrived in the Italian city of Milan on January 25 and boarded the Costa Smeralda on the same day in Savona, BTA added.

The ship stopped already this week in the French port of Marseille and in the Spanish ports of Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, before arriving in Civitavecchia, about 100 km south of Rome.

Passengers will not be allowed to leave the ship for several hours while investigating whether the Chinese family is the carrier of the new coronavirus, a spokesman for cruise company Costa Crocere said.

A number of countries began today to isolate hundreds of their citizens, evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, in an attempt to stem the spread of a coronavirus that killed 170 people.

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