Breaking News Rome: Lockdown in Italy, all shops & public places are closed. The health system is under pressure but a glimmer of hope as the first man recovers COVID-19.
Italy is under a national week-long lockdown on Tuesday after the government extended a travel ban from Lombardy to the entire country in a drastic bid to halt the world’s second-biggest coronavirus outbreak.
Italians that are moving around must sign a form self-certifying that they are travelling for “proven work needs,’’ situations of necessity, to buy drugs or to return home.
“There won’t be just a red zone,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said as he announced the measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Anyone caught making a false declaration faces a sentence of up to three months in jail or a fine.
Public gatherings are forbidden and shopping malls need to be shut down over the weekends.
Grocery shops and pharmacies are the only exceptions to the closure rules. And the government has created a helpline specifically for Coronavirus for all those who think they are infected.
Schools are closed, and ministers are considering a delay to the post-Easter holiday restart date.
The first recovery case from COVID-19
Italian doctors celebrated a small victory after the first patient diagnosed with the illness, a 38-year-old man was moved out of intensive care and began breathing on his own. But the sheer volume of patients of COVID-19 cases has forced them to operate like war-time medics, triaging patients to decide who get access to scarce ICU beds.
Italy is seriously under pressure, the economy is fragile, the hospital system is on the verge of failing and Doctors are working around the clock with some only having a 4-hour break to rest. “Make no mistake this is a National Emergency” – says Mari Pinto WTX correspondent on the ground in central Italy.
She added “Everyone is concerned But the people are cooperating, there are pockets of civil unrest but nothing more than a minor infringement. The people are working with the health forces to ensure there’s a swift recovery from this outbreak.”
“Unfortunately we’re only at the beginning,” said Dr Massimo Galli, head of infectious disease at Milan’s Sacco hospital.
I spoke with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte about strengthening bilateral ties as well as Italy’s efforts to contain the coronavirus. During our phone call I made it clear that the UAE is ready to provide support for the fight against this virus
— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) March 3, 2020
Dr Elisabetta Groppelli, a virologist and lecturer in global health at the St George’s University of London, said isolation measures had a “massive impact” in fighting the disease in China.
“The virus can be killed with soap and slowed down by isolation,” she said. “We should remember how much we can do. We need to think beyond ourselves and our individual situations.”
She added: “For the past two generations we have been lucky to go about our lives as we want, and this outbreak is a reminder that occasionally it will happen again that we need to make changes to the way we live and think as a society rather than as individuals.”
Lockdown in Italy – Restrictions on movement
- Anyone showing symptoms of respiratory problems and fever is strongly advised to stay at home and limit all social contact, including with their doctor.
- Companies, both public and private, are encouraged to put their staff on leave or work from home where possible.
- Anyone confirmed to have coronavirus will be compulsorily confined to their homes.
Public places shutdown
- All sports competitions and events, whatever their nature, are suspended. Only those linked to Olympic Games preparations, or major national or international events will be allowed – and only behind closed doors.
- All ski resorts are closed until further notice.
- All cultural, sporting, religious or festive events are suspended. Cinemas, pubs, theatres, museums, dance schools, gaming arcades, casinos, nightclubs and other such places will have to remain closed.
- Bars and restaurants can remain open from 6 am to 6 pm as long as they respect a security distance of at least one metre between customers.
- Shopping centres and major shops must remain closed on public holidays and preceding days.
- Religious venues remain open on condition they respect the one-metre distance rule. However religious ceremonies such as weddings and baptisms are banned until further notice.
Coronavirus cases rising daily
As of today, 12th March 2020, Italy registered 1,807 confirmed cases of COVID-19, taking the national total of 10,172 and with 463 deaths related to #Coronavirus. WIth teh surge in confirmed deaths this week, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had little choice but to enforce the lockdown in Italy.
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