Avoiding cruise ships is a major way to protect those vulnerable to coronavirus, according to an expert.
Speaking Sunday morning on “Meet the Press,” immunologist Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, outlined what Americans at home can do to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, which has infected at least 469 people in the U.S. and killed 19 as of Sunday afternoon.
Dangers are “overwhelmingly weighted toward people with underlying conditions and the elderly,” Fauci said. “If you’re an elderly person with an underlying condition, if you get infected, the risk of getting into trouble is considerable.
He added: “So it’s our responsibility to protect the vulnerable. When I say ‘protect,’ I mean right now. Not ‘wait until things get worse.’ Say no crowds, no long trips and above all, don’t get on a cruise ship.”
Fauci said he “strongly” agrees with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that those who are elderly and/or have underlying conditions “think twice” about boarding airplanes, trains and other forms of public transportation.
“And not only think twice, just don’t get on a cruise ship,” Fauci added.
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Sistine Chapel shuts down as Italy takes drastic containment measures
Already staggering under weeks of fears about the spread of the coronavirus, Italy’s tourism industry has now taken an even more punishing blow.
The Vatican announced Sunday that in coordination with drastic Italian government measures aimed at containing Italy’s virus outbreak, Europe’s worst, it is shutting down its museums, which include access to the Sistine Chapel, until April 3.
The chapel’s ceiling and altar wall, frescoed by Michelangelo, are one of the world’s biggest tourist attractions, and a high point of Vatican Museums visits.
The Vatican said its one case of coronavirus is that of a person who had come to the Holy See’s health facilities as part of a doctor’s visit ahead of being hired. Five people who had close contact with that person have been put in quarantine as a precaution
The Italian government’s decree also shut down outdoor sites like Pompeii’s extraordinary archaeological ruins and a blockbuster exhibit in Rome of more than 100 paintings and drawings by Raphael, which was mounted to mark the Renaissance artist’s 500th anniversary of his death from a fever in the city.
Contributing: The Associated Press