Students at a school in Vienna, Austria have been barred from leaving the building after one of their instructors was flagged as potentially carrying the deadly coronavirus, currently spreading across the globe.
No one is allowed to leave or enter the Albertgasse high school, located in Vienna’s inner-city neighborhood of Josefstadt, police said in a Twitter message posted on Wednesday. Officers also denied rumors that the school had been evacuated. Streets around the school have been closed to the public.
The precautionary measures were taken after a teacher returned from a trip to Northern Italy, which has seen more than 300 cases of coronavirus in recent days. The teacher and students are currently undergoing screening for the deadly virus, according to Austrian media reports.
Students at the school were reportedly seen looking out windows and shouting. They have been allowed to communicate with their parents by telephone. If one or more results do come back positive, the school could potentially face quarantine, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said.
The lockdown coincided with the quarantine of 12 people in Austria who were in close contact with a couple identified as the country’s first coronavirus cases.
Originating in Wuhan, China late last year, the illness has infected at least 80,000 people worldwide — the vast majority in mainland China. Now present in nearly 30 countries, the virus has become a major health concern in Italy, which has seen over 320 cases and 11 deaths.