Coronavirus: Italy extends measures to entire country

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Italy has extended its coronavirus lockdown measures, including a ban on public gatherings, to the entire country.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the move after the nation’s death toll from the outbreak jumped by 97 to a total of 463 lives lost.
There were already 16 million people under quarantine in the north of Italy, with the new measures affecting the movement of 60 million people.
And the coordinator for intensive care in the crisis unit in the northern region said the health care system in Lombardy was “one step from collapse” as he described a “tsunami of patients”.
The Italian government has announced it will extend the coronavirus measures to the entire country. (AP)
Over the weekend, blanket travel restrictions were announced in just certain areas.
The rest of the country will now join the northern provinces under lockdown – one of the toughest responses implemented outside of mainland China to get the Covid-19 pandemic under control.
The coordinator for intensive care in the crisis unit for the northern Lombardy region told CNN that Lombardy’s health care system was “one step from collapse” despite efforts to free up hospital beds.

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“We are now being forced to set up intensive care treatment in corridors,” Antonio Pesenti said.
“We’ve emptied entire hospital sections to make space for seriously sick people.
He described seeing “a tsunami of patients,” adding that there could be 18,000 patients in hospital by the end of the month if the virus continues to spread.

Public events cancelled

The decree allows for all public events to be cancelled and the impact will include cinemas, weddings, funerals, bars, restaurants and all sporting events.
“Our habits must change, must change now, we must all give up something for the good of Italy,” Conte says, adding that the measures will come into effect today.
The government also adopted a decree to stop all sporting activities, including Serie A football matches, the prime minister says.
The global spread of coronavirus.
The global spread of coronavirus. (Graphic: Tara Blancato)
Sporting activities including Serie A football matches will be stopped under extended measures. (PA/AAP)
“There won’t be just a red zone,″ Conte told reporters referring to the quarantine order he signed for a vast swath of northern Italy with a population of 16 million over the weekend.
“There will be Italy” as a protected area, he said.
The nationwide decree also extends school closures in Italy until April 3. Schools in the centre and south of Italy that were closed because of the virus had been slated to reopen on March 16.
The number of coronavirus cases in Italy has jumped in Italy, recording the most infections outside China. (AP)
Italy registered 1,807 more confirmed cases as of Monday evening, for a national total of 9,172. With those numbers, Italy again overtook South Korea as the country with the most cases outside China. The number of people with the virus who died increased to 463.
The premier also took to task the young people in much of Italy who have been gathering at night to drink and have a good time during the public health emergency that started on February 21.
“This night life…we can’t allow this anymore,” Conte said.
Northern Italy – including Milan – was put under lockdown on the weekend. Coronavirus measures have now been extended to the entire country. (AP)
Under the weekend decree that applied to regions in the north, pubs, restaurants and cafes are required to close at dusk. Now the mandatory early hours will affect all of a locked-down Italy.
On Saturday night, alarmed at rumours over a quarantine in the north, many Italians fled the targeted regions in the northern “red zone.” was put under lockdown on Sunday.
Some 16 million residents live in that first lockdown, in the north, in populous Lombardy, which includes Milan, and 14 provinces in the north, including that of Venice.