Irish in Tenerife contact department over coronavirus concerns
Around 1,000 tourists in Tenerife hotel in quarantine after Italian tourist tests positive
A number of Irish citizens in Tenerife have contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs after a hotel on the island was placed under quarantine when Italian doctor staying there tested positive for the coronavirus.
The press office for the town of Adeje confirmed that the restrictions are in place at the H10 Adeje Palace hotel.
Spanish media said some 1,000 tourists staying at the complex are not allowed to leave.
The Canary Islands, an archipelago 100kms west of the African coast, is a popular holiday destination that attracts Irish and British tourists all year around.
The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs said it is providing consular assistance to a number of Irish citizens staying in the area who made contact after news of the case emerged.
It said the Irish embassy in Madrid is “closely monitoring the situation” and they are in touch with the local health and tourist authorities.
It advised anyone with specific concerns regarding Irish people in the area to contact the department at (01) 408 2527.
Ireland’s National Health Emergency team is set to announce new precautionary measures for the State after it meets on Tuesday afternoon.
The archipelago’s president Angel Victor Torres said the Italian doctor who tested positive for the disease has been quarantined in a local clinic while samples are analysed in a hospital near Madrid to confirm the initial diagnosis.
Spain’s Europa Press said the tourist arrived from one of the areas in northern Italy where a there have been a cluster of coronavirus infections.
The patient voluntarily went to a clinic in Tenerife on Monday when he began feeling unwell.
If confirmed it will be Spain’s third case of Covid-19 and the second in the Canary Islands.
Both were released after recovering and showing no further symptoms of the illness.
Meanwhile, the number of people in Italy infected with the coronavirus has increased by 45 per cent in the last day, with the death toll rising to 10, officials said.
Italian authorities on Tuesday reported 322 confirmed cases of the virus – 100 more than a day earlier.
They said that some of the new cases showed up in parts of Italy well outside the country’s two hardest-hit northern regions, including three in Sicily, two in Tuscany and one in Liguria.
Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte said ahead of a meeting with World Health Organisation officials: “Obviously, I can’t say I’m not worried because I don’t want anyone to think we’re underestimating this emergency.
“But we trust that with the measures we’ve implemented, there will be a containing effect in the coming days.”
Italy has closed schools, museums and theatres in the two regions where clusters have formed, and troops are enforcing quarantines around 10 towns in Lombardy and the epicentre of the Veneto cluster, Vo’Euganeo.
In Iran the deputy health minister and a member of parliament have tested positive for the coronavirus as the death toll inside the country rose to 16 amid concern that authorities could be underestimating the scale of outbreak.
More cases in China and South Korea
On Tuesday China and South Korea reported more cases of the coronavirus as concern over the impact of the outbreak sent stock markets into decline around the world.
China reported 508 new cases and another 71 deaths on Tuesday, 68 of them in the central city of Wuhan, where the epidemic was first detected in December.
The updates bring mainland China’s totals to 77,658 cases and 2,663 deaths.
South Korea now has the second-most cases in the world with 893 and has had a near 15-fold increase in reported infections in a week, with 60 new cases reported on Tuesday.
The White House has called for an urgent injection of $2.5 billion (€1.9 billion) in government funding to help combat the disease, while Washington is set to call off planned annual military exercises with South Korea.
In Beijing, China’s government has postponed its most important political meetings of the year.
Schools were closed in Iran for a second day, and daily sanitising of public buses and the Tehran metro, which is used by some three million people a day, was started.
“We need to take this situation of course very seriously, but we must not give in to panic, and, even more importantly, to disinformation.”
After the large increase in cases of Covid-19 — the disease caused by the coronavirus — in several countries, the World Heath Organisation said the virus had the potential to cause a pandemic.
“The past few weeks has demonstrated just how quickly a new virus can spread around the world and cause widespread fear and disruption,” WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
“(But) for the moment we’re not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus.”– Agencies