LONDON: Several schools in the United Kingdom are forced to shut down over coronavirus after students returning from ski trips in northern Italy experienced flu-like symptoms.
A private school in Cheshire has closed and will undergo a deep clean after pupils and staff who returned from a ski trip in Italy felt unwell.
“Pupils and staff who visited Bormio last week [should] self-isolate, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms of being unwell,” Richard Pollock, headteacher of Cransley School, wrote on the school’s Facebook page.
“School staff are working hard with the authorities to manage the situation,” he added.
Five staff members and 29 students visited Bormio, in the coronavirus-hit Lombardy region. Several complained of “mild flu-like symptoms” on Monday, the teacher reportedly told parents in a letter.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned the virus was “literally knocking at the door” of countries around the globe. The global health body urged governments to bolster their defences against the disease and suggested some may choose to activate pre-prepared “pandemic plans”.
Meanwhile, Iran‘s deputy health minister and a lawmaker has reportedly tested positive for the virus as the death toll reached fifteen, the highest outside mainland China.
South Korea is planning mass testing of 200,000 churchgoers, while Hong Kong has extended the closure of its schools until 20 April. Investment banks Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Nomura Holdings have curbed employees’ trips to Italy for fear the disease will spread. Seven people have died of the illness in Italy.