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Hospital tents deployed to protect against coronavirus in Italy

A couple in Italy who met on their balconies during the coronavirus lockdown are now engaged, becoming a modern-day Romeo and Juliet in the same city where Shakespeare's story of star-crossed lovers took place.(Getty images.)

A hospital in northern Italy has added tents to its property in order to treat patients that have not been infected with coronavirus.

Coronavirus infections in Italy rose 50% on Sunday. Later, the U.S. government issued its strongest travel warning yet, advising Americans against any travel to northern Italy.

Hospital and government officials hope the military-style field tents and medics will keep the coronavirus from being spread by the hospital.

Medical workers in protective face masks prepared medical checkpoints and set up the tents to host regular patients. Patients with coronavirus are treated inside the hospital.

If the coronavirus is detected, a patient is taken from the tents to a designated emergency room. They follow a red line on the ground which keeps them out of contact with other patients. The Italian government has set up almost 350 such tents to date.

Italian officials hope that the introduction of tents outside hospitals will help prevent the need for more drastic measures.

On Wednesday the Italian government shut all schools and universities until March 15.

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