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03:21

Italy: Health ministers rule out border closures despite uptick in EU coronavirus cases

Italy, Rome
February 26, 2020 at 03:52 GMT +00:00 · Published

German Minister of Health Jens Spahn ruled out the closure of borders in Europe as a means to prevent the further spreading of the deadly Coronavirus on European soil. Spahn made the comments while speaking to journalists in Rome on Tuesday.

"We all share the conviction that travel restrictions or border closures would not be appropriate and applicable precautions at this point. It is more appropriate to decide on a case-by-case basis and this also applies for cases about whether a certain organization should take place or not: general precautions are also not to be applied about this," said Spahn.

"A virus doesn't stop at the border and we have seen it concretely in North Italy. That's a region of Europe, where various countries such as Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, France and then also indirectly Germany have contact with each other and that’s why I am very grateful that we had this meeting today and exchanged ideas personally," he said.

"We also decided together that we will share information in buses, trains and planes as well as in airports and train stations for the passengers from or within the effected regions. For example when someone has certain symptoms in one of these regions, this person can call a certain number in order to get the relevant support. We will also be sharing the corresponding informative material with these passengers," added Spahn.

Cases of the virus, also known as COVID-19, have surged in Italy in recent days, with 322 confirmed cases, the highest number in Europe, mainly in the densely populated northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto - where the cities of Milan and Venice are located respectively -and eleven deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

03:21
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German Minister of Health Jens Spahn ruled out the closure of borders in Europe as a means to prevent the further spreading of the deadly Coronavirus on European soil. Spahn made the comments while speaking to journalists in Rome on Tuesday.

"We all share the conviction that travel restrictions or border closures would not be appropriate and applicable precautions at this point. It is more appropriate to decide on a case-by-case basis and this also applies for cases about whether a certain organization should take place or not: general precautions are also not to be applied about this," said Spahn.

"A virus doesn't stop at the border and we have seen it concretely in North Italy. That's a region of Europe, where various countries such as Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, France and then also indirectly Germany have contact with each other and that’s why I am very grateful that we had this meeting today and exchanged ideas personally," he said.

"We also decided together that we will share information in buses, trains and planes as well as in airports and train stations for the passengers from or within the effected regions. For example when someone has certain symptoms in one of these regions, this person can call a certain number in order to get the relevant support. We will also be sharing the corresponding informative material with these passengers," added Spahn.

Cases of the virus, also known as COVID-19, have surged in Italy in recent days, with 322 confirmed cases, the highest number in Europe, mainly in the densely populated northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto - where the cities of Milan and Venice are located respectively -and eleven deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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