Italy Quarantines 16 Million People in Effort to Contain Coronavirus Outbreak

By Paul Riegler on 8 March 2020
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The Italian government announced a lockdown in the northern part of the country, effectively quarantining the 16 million people who live the northern part of the country including Lombardy, the capital of which is Milan, and much of Veneto, of which Venice is the capital. Both are major tourist destinations.  Thirteen neighboring provinces are included in the quarantine zone.

All but emergency travel is prohibited in and out of the affected regions, which includes the financial capital of the country, Milan, and one of the country’s tourist main tourist hotspots, Venice, in the Veneto region.

There are now at least 5,883 cases of the coronavirus in Italy, the highest number in Europe and the fourth highest in the world.  The death toll there is now at 233, the highest outside China.  In addition, many of the outbreaks in Europe have been traced back to Italian patients.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the new measures at a news conference Sunday morning. The move impacts some 17 million people, more than a quarter of the country’s population, who will be unable to leave the new security zone without an extremely serious reason.

“We are facing an emergency, a national emergency,” the prime minister said in a news conference.

The prime minister tried to reassure the country in his message, which was televised nationally. “We will get through this,” he said.

The decree states that those living in affected provinces need to “avoid any movement into and out of the areas.” In addition, within the impacted areas, residents are being asked to limit movement to emergencies and work obligations that cannot be postponed.

The new decree will have a major impact on life in an area of the country that drives much of Italy’s economy including fashion and culture. The decree will close ski resorts and curtail religious services, while leaving shopping malls and outdoor markets open except for weekends.

The quarantine will remain in effect through April 3, 2020.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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