Coronavirus: Italy enters its first day of a nationwide lockdown – it is the worst-hit country outside China
- Italy entered its first day of a total nationwide lockdown on Tuesday.
- Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the unprecedented measure of putting the entire nation on lockdown after a surge of coronavirus cases.
- At least 9,100 people have been infected, and 463 have died, officials said Monday night. It has the highest death toll in the world outside China.
- The northern region of Lombardy and 14 neighbouring provinces, where an estimated 16 million people live, had been quarantined from Sunday.
- The restriction zone has now been expanded to encompass the entire country of 60 million people.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Italy's nationwide lockdown began Tuesday as its number of coronavirus cases rose past 9,100 and death toll jumped to 463 on Monday night, making it the worst-affected country outside China.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced his decision to put the entire country on lockdown on Monday night.
He ordered people to stay home and seek permission for essential travel, the BBC reported.
He also canceled all sports gatherings across the country, urging citizens to keep the common good at the top of mind and help control the spread of the coronavirus, BBC reporter Mark Lowen tweeted.
"All the measure of the red zones are now extended to all of the national territory," Conte said at a press conference, stressing that this decision is meant to safeguard the nation's citizens, particularly its more vulnerable communities, according to CNN.
The containment measure takes effect on Tuesday and is slated to last through April 3, as was the case with the initial red zone.
People can continue to use public transit to get to and from work, but can expect to be asked by police and other officials to explain their reason for traveling, BuzzFeed News said. No activities and gatherings beyond that are allowed, Conte said.
Over the weekend, the government had quarantined the northern region of Lombardy and 14 neighbouring provinces. Lombardy, home to the major city of Milan, is the worst-hit Italian region.
On Monday, after the country's death toll from the virus reached 463, Conte extended the restriction zone to encompass the whole country of over 60 million people, BBC reported.
Early Tuesday morning a 38-year-old man known as Italy's "Patient No. 1" was moved out of intensive care for the first time since he tested positive in late February in Lombardy, giving doctors what the Associated Press described as "a small victory" in the crisis.
The coronavirus broke out in Wuhan, China, late last year and has since infected more than 111,000 people globally and led to over 3,900 deaths. China now appears to be turning a corner with the disease, reporting fewer infections and deaths every day.
As part of sweeping restrictions that have been imposed in recent days, schools, museums, theaters, and swimming pools throughout Italy had been closed, and weddings and funerals halted. Large public events have also been stopped, entire towns have been sealed off, and Italy's popular tourist destinations are deserted.
Conte's announcement came on the heels of a turbulent day for Italy's prison system with inmates rioting, setting fires, and dozens escaping.
Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- Here’s what the shock oil crash could do for South African petrol prices
- Analysts warn of 'utter carnage' as oil crashes and global stocks tumble
- A coronavirus test will set you back R1,400 – and medical aid may only pay if you have it
- Why Sasol crashed: The oil collapse could trigger a debt emergency
- SA police now need firearm training only every 5 years, under updated rules
- Here’s what you can do when an ill colleague insists on coming to the office