Italy will be placed on lockdown amid the ongoing spread of coronavirus, the country’s prime minister said. That’s a massive expansion of yesterday’s lockdown order for Lombardy, a large region in northern Italy that includes Venice and Milan.
People shouldn’t travel unless necessary for work or family emergencies, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said, according to the BBC. People are no longer allowed to assemble in public; movie theaters, gyms, and pubs will be closed; and sporting events, funerals, and weddings will be canceled, reports The Guardian. And schools and universities will stay closed until April 3rd, says CNBC. Previously, schools were due to reopen March 15.
“I am going to sign a decree that can be summarized as follows: I stay at home,” Conte said, according to The Guardian. “The whole of Italy will become a protected zone.”
Italy trails only China in cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. There are more than 9,100 confirmed Italian cases, up from 5,883 on Saturday. More than 460 people are dead. Cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in all 20 regions of the country, according to the BBC. Italy has a population of more than 60 million.
Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, has been under government-ordered lockdown since January 22nd. One Wuhan resident described the lockdown as a “living hell” in a powerful essay on NPR.
There have been more than 113,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally and nearly 4,000 deaths.