Quarter of Italians on COVID-19 lockdown | Daily News


 

Quarter of Italians on COVID-19 lockdown

Large areas of northern Italy like the main plaza is under lockdown in an attempt to halt the spread of the deadly COVID-19.
Large areas of northern Italy like the main plaza is under lockdown in an attempt to halt the spread of the deadly COVID-19.

ITALY: A quarter of the Italian population were put under lockdown on Sunday as the government took drastic measures to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus that is sweeping the globe, with Latin America recording its first fatality.

These quarantine zones are home to more than 15 million people and include the regions around Venice and financial capital Milan, while cinemas, theatres and museums will be closed nationwide.

Italy has seen the most deaths from the COVID-19 disease of any country outside China

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Twitter he had signed off on plans to strictly limit movement in and out of large areas including Venice and the financial capital Milan for nearly a month.

“#Coronavirus, the new decree is finally approved,” Conte wrote, confirming earlier reports of the lockdown in the newspaper Corriere Della Sera and other media.

With more than 230 fatalities, Italy has recorded the most deaths from the COVID-19 disease of any country outside China, where the outbreak began in December.

Italy has the world’s second oldest population after Japan, according to the World Bank, and older people appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the new coronavirus.

Without a “serious” reason that cannot be postponed, such as urgent work or family issues, people will not be allowed to enter or leave the quarantine zones, Corriere Della Sera reported.

These include the entire Lombardy region as well as Venice and its surrounding areas, and the cities of Parma and Rimini -- affecting a quarter of Italy’s population of 60 million.

Museums, nightclubs, gyms and casinos will be closed in these places, with people advised to stay at home as much as possible, the newspaper said, adding that the restrictions would be in place until April 3.

People will be allowed to return home from outside these regions, while bars and restaurants are allowed to remain open provided it is possible for customers to stay a metre (three feet) away from one another.

The disease has convulsed markets and paralysed global supply chains, and Italy has found itself at the forefront of the global fight against the virus, with more than 5,800 infections recorded in the past seven weeks in all 22 Italian regions.

The virus has now spread to all 22 Italian regions and the first deaths are being recorded in Italy’s less well medically equipped south. - AFP


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