Italy’s coronavirus cases soar to more than 1100 as top US agency says cancel all travel

London: America's top public health agency has told US citizens they should not travel to any part of Italy, in a fresh blow to the country's struggling economy that will also be interpreted as a lack of confidence in efforts to stop coronavirus from spreading across Europe.

The number of confirmed cases in Italy rose overnight from 821 to 1128. Eight more people died from the illness, bringing the death toll to 29 in what is the worst COVID-19 cluster outside Asia.

Tourism has been devastated in Milan and Venice. Credit:Getty

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said citizens should not travel to Iran, which is battling a major outbreak that many western political leaders fear is far worse than reported by Tehran.

The husband of a British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran on Saturday said he fears she has contracted the virus.

Richard Ratcliffe said Evin Prison officials had refused to test his wife, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, for COVID-19 even though she is displaying symptoms associated with the condition.

Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert has been held in the same prison since 2018.

The Morrison government put a travel ban on people coming from Iran after a National Security Committee meeting on Saturday and based on the advice of health officials. The ban, which will apply from March 1, will mean people cannot travel from Iran to Australia for 14 days.

With AAP

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