More than 16 million people were placed under forced quarantine in northern Italy in a drastic move by the Italian Government putting Italy on lockdown.
Early on Sunday morning, the government approved the drastic measures in an attempt to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) that is sweeping across the globe.
Italy has witnessed a surge in new coronavirus cases, prompting new measures to stave off the outbreak. Rome has enacted sweeping measures to limit mobility and assembly in the region of Lombardy and 14 nearby provinces.
Italy has now closed cinemas, theatres, museums across the country. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte tweeted a message saying “I just signed the new decree,”. 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.
— Giuseppe Conte (@GiuseppeConteIT) March 8, 2020
The government decree said the Lombardy region’s population of 10 million should avoid movement within the region except in cases of “proven occupational needs,” such as medical staff and health reasons putting the north of Italy on lockdown.
Other areas targeted by the measures include the provinces of Alessandria, Asti, Modena, Novara, Padua, Parma, Piacenza, Pesaro and Urbino, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Treviso, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Vercelli and Venice.
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.