Italy ‘quarantines’ 16 million people « Khabarhub
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Italy ‘quarantines’ 16 million people


08 March 2020  

Time taken to read : 4 Minute


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VENICE: Italy has today quarantined 16 MILLION people in drastic measures to stop the deadly spread of coronavirus.

More than a quarter of the country’s population has been put into lockdown, including cities Venice and Milan, with weddings and funerals banned.

The unprecedented measures come as more than 5,800 cases of the deadly bug have been confirmed in Italy – with more than 1,200 cases diagnosed in just 24 hours.

Italy has been the worst country in Europe to have been hit by the outbreak, with 233 people dying after testing positive.

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte signed the decree in the early hours of this morning, which will effectively lockdown 16 million residents in Lombardy and northern Italy.

He said: “We want to guarantee the health of our citizens. We understand that these measures will impose sacrifices, sometimes small and sometimes very big.

“But this is a time where we must take responsibility for ourselves.”

He added: “We have to limit the spread of the virus and prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed.”

The new measures say people should not enter or leave Lombardy, Italy’s richest region, as well as 14 provinces in four other regions, including the cities of Venice, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, and Rimini.

In addition to schools and universities, all museums, gyms, cultural centers, ski resorts, and swimming pools will be closed in the affected areas until at least April 3. Anyone with a temperature of 37.5C or higher, or who is showing signs of respiratory infection, regardless whether they are confirmed coronavirus positive or not, are “strongly recommended” to self-isolate at home.

The measures include canceled sporting events and school classes, with religious ceremonies also suspended.

Restaurants and cafes can open between 6 am and 6 pm but customers must sit at least a meter apart.

Those in the affected regions have been told to stay home as much as possible – facing three months in jail if they break quarantine.

The decree applies to: Lombardy (the whole region) and the 14 provinces of: Modena Parma Piacenza Reggio Emilia Rimini Pesaro e Urbino Venezia Padova Treviso Asti Alessandria Novara Verbano-Cusio-Ossola Vercelli.

Deaths due to the infectious virus have risen in Italy, by 36 to 233, while the number of patients in intensive care climbed to 567, up 23 percent from the day before. Of the 5,883 Italians originally infected, 589 have fully recovered.

Among those affected is the leader of Italy’s co-ruling Democratic Party Nicola Zingaretti, who tested positive for the virus.

There are currently more than 106,000 cases of the bug globally, with more than 3,590 deaths.

Italy wasn’t the only country limiting activities as coronavirus spreads.

Around the world, events and festivals were called off. Travel restrictions and warnings were issued.

And in Australia, women were filmed brawling over the last toilet roll in a supermarket.

The Pope also canceled his Vatican addresses and will hold services via live stream to stop people from gathering.

The UK’s death toll rose to two this week, with more than 200 cases.

(with inputs from Agencies)

Publish Date : 08 March 2020 18:55 PM

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