A cruise ship off the Italian coast north of Rome has been placed on lockdown due to fears of two suspected cases of the fatal Coronavirus on board.

Around 6,000 people are now confined on the ship in the port of Civitavecchia after a 54-year-old female passenger from Macau fell ill with a fever.The woman has been isolated in her cabin, along with her travel companion and several doctors, as health authorities test samples from the couple for the Coronavirus.

The vast Costa Smeralda cruiseย liner arrived in Civitavecchia from Palma on the Spanish island of Mallorca as part of a one-week cruise in the Mediterranean.
The news, which follows a suspected case ofย Coronavirus in Rome, comes as the death toll from the disease rises to 170 in China.

The World Health Organization is meeting on 30 January to decide whether to declare a global emergency as the virus spreads around the world.