U.S. markets open in 41 minutes

Coronavirus news – live: UK schools closed over infection fears, as US warned to prepare for pandemic and Italy death toll rises to 11

Samuel Osborne, Jon Sharman, Vincent Wood
YONHAP/AFP via Getty Images

Coronavirus fears have forced schools to shut down after pupils returning from ski trips in northern Italy experienced flu-like symptoms.

Cransley School in Northwich, Cheshire, has closed for the week and will undergo a deep clean while pupils and staff have been told to self-isolate. Brine Leas Academy in Nantwich has also shut down its sixth form.

Meanwhile in Teeside Trinity Catholic College was shut down following a similar ski trip in the north of the European country.

It came as the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned the virus was “literally knocking at the door” of countries around the globe, and 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 has reportedly tested positive, and South Korea is planning mass testing of 200,000 churchgoers. Hong Kong has extended the closure of its schools until 20 April and investment banks Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Nomura Holdings have reportedly curbed employees’ trips to Italy for fear the disease will spread. Eleven people have died of the illness in Italy.

Please allow a moment for the blog to load