State Department Updates Advisories for Italy, South Korea Due to Coronavirus

People wear sanitary masks as they ride an empty tram in downtown Milan, Italy // Photo by Claudio Furlan/LaPresse via AP via Newscred

In a briefing Thursday morning, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke about the coronavirus epidemics in Iran, Italy and South Korea.

To that note, the U.S. State Department updated their travel advisories for all three countries.

While Italy remains Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution, the State Department updated the advisory to add “due to a recent outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and terrorism.” It adds, “Multiple cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Italy. Italian government authorities are working to identify how and where these people were infected. The CDC has issued a Level 2 Travel Health Notice for Italy. At this time, CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to Italy.”

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There are currently 11 Italian towns in quarantine; the most affected regions are Lombardy and Veneto.

South Korea is now Level 3: Reconsider Travel. “Reconsider travel to South Korea due to an outbreak of COVID-19,” it reads. “The South Korean government has reported cases of the COVID-19 in the country and has upgraded its response level to “grave”, its highest response level. On February 24, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 Travel Warning – Avoid Non-Essential Travel for South Korea.”

Iran, on the other hand, remains a Level 4: Do Not Travel; however, an outbreak of coronavirus has been added to the warnings, which also include kidnapping and the arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens.

WHO’s Director-General also noted that seven new countries in the past 24 hours have reported cases of coronavirus for the first time: Brazil, Georgia, Greece, North Macedonia, Norway, Pakistan and Romania. He added that, for the past two days, the number of new cases reported globally has exceeded the number of new cases in China, where the outbreak originated.

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