ALL NEWS

All of Italy is in lockdown as coronavirus cases rise

Mar 10, 2020, 6:36 AM | Updated: Mar 12, 2020, 9:01 am
Prison Police officers stand guard after an ambulance (Rear) entered the SantAnna prison during a p...
Prison Police officers stand guard after an ambulance (Rear) entered the SantAnna prison during a protest of inmates' relatives in Modena, Emilia-Romagna, in one of Italy's quarantine red zones on March 9, 2020. - Inmates in four Italian prisons have revolted over new rules introduced to contain the coronavirus outbreak, leaving one prisoner dead and others injured, a prison rights group said on March 8. Prisoners at jails in Naples Poggioreale in the south, Modena in the north, Frosinone in central Italy and at Alexandria in the northwest had all revolted over measures including a ban on family visits, unions said. (Photo by Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP) (Photo by PIERO CRUCIATTI/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by PIERO CRUCIATTI/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNN) — Italy has been put under a dramatic total lockdown, as the coronavirus spreads in the country. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that he is extending restrictions already in place in the north.

“All the measure of the red zones are now extended to all of the national territory,” Conte said at a press conference on Monday evening as he also announced a ban on all public events.

The Prime Minister said the move was taken in order to protect the population, and especially the most fragile individuals. His announcement came at the end of a chaotic day that saw prison riots across the country.

Ninety-seven people have died of the novel coronavirus since Sunday in Italy, bringing its total number of deaths to 463. The country has 9,172 cases so far, the most of any European country.

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.

“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.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “Italians should be worried.”

Lombardy President Attilio Fontana said in a statement said the new lockdown measures may not be enough.

“A necessary step but, I fear, still insufficient,” Fontana said. “The numbers in Lombardy and in the rest of the country show that the contagion is constantly expanding, with all consequences we know starting with the overload of work in hospitals, in particular in intensive care.”

Under the previous north-only lockdown, checks on compliance with the movement ban were to be carried out on main highways and along smaller roads by the Carabinieri (military police) and municipal police forces, while railway police, health authority workers and civil protection staff using thermoscan appliances will enforce the travel ban on the state’s railways.

Travelers, including those departing or arriving in the containment regions by airplane, were to be checked to see whether they have a self-declared travel exemption.

Checks were also introduced for cruise ship passengers arriving in Venice, who will not be able to disembark to visit the city, but will only be able to return to their place of residence or country of origin.

Michele De Marsico told CNN at a Milan train station on Sunday that he was trying to work out how to return to southern Italy. “I was worried, so I came here to the train station to check out the situation,” said the 55-year-old.

Protests in Italian prisons

The lockdown so far has already produced damaging ripple effects in the country. Inmates overran a number of prisons on Monday, escaping their facilities and kidnapping officers, after visitors were banned in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, the Justice Ministry said in a statement.

Multiple inmates have died in the uproar, which swept 22 prisons. Some continue to occupy their facilities, even reaching the roof in some cases.

In the southern city of Foggia, inmates occupied the entire compound and 43 detainees escaped, before being captured by the prison’s police force and other law enforcement agencies, the statement said.

In Modena, in the north, inmates are “still occupying two sections of the prison.” There some inmates broke into the infirmary, where they got hold of various drugs, including methadone, the director of the Italian penitentiary system Francesco Basentini, said in a TV interview.

Six inmates died there, he added. Two of the dead died of an overdose, and another from the inhalation of toxic smoke. Basentini said the cause of the three remaining deaths was under investigation.

Meanwhile, in Rome’s Rebibbia prison, inmates reached an external area and badly damaged an entire pavilion. And four prison officers were kidnapped in Bologna, where 350 inmates managed to occupy two sections of the facility. Almost all of the jails are “seriously damaged,” according to the ministry statement.

Quarantine zone stretches across country

There have been more than 108,000 confirmed cases and 3,821 deaths related to the novel coronavirus worldwide. Despite signs of improvement in Asia — with China and South Korea recording a slowdown in the number of new cases — the situation in Europe and North America appears to be worsening.

Under the initial lockdown rules, schools, universities, theaters, cinemas, bars and nightclubs were closed in Italy’s north. Religious ceremonies, including funerals and weddings, and sporting events were suspended or postponed. Restaurants and bars were allowed to be open from 6am to 6pm, and malls and markets could open on weekdays if they could assure a meter (three feet) of distance between each client.

“This is of the utmost importance not only from a healthcare point of view but also economically. A temporary downturn in some sectors or areas of the country is preferable to a longer crisis that could spread to the whole economy via demand and supply effects,” the original statement read.

Hotel worker Alice Baldisserri, 38, told CNN that “Milan’s hotels are empty, so the jobs are at risk.” Baldisserri said Italy’s tourism industry had been “hit the hardest” by the outbreak.

The restrictions could take a toll on Italy’s already fragile economy. Italian tourism representatives warned last month that 200 million euros ($260 million) in bookings had been canceled since the outbreak was first announced.

The Italian government is preparing measures to support workers and firms across the country, particularly in sectors and areas most affected by the outbreak to try to prevent “lasting damage to the supply side of the Italian economy and permanent employment losses.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on “all countries to continue efforts that have been effective in limiting the number of cases and slowing the spread of the virus.”

In a statement, the WHO said: “Allowing uncontrolled spread should not be a choice of any government, as it will harm not only the citizens of that country but affect other countries as well.”

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

A woman wearing white sitting in front of a light box...
Michelle Lee

Winter blues: light therapy and lifestyle changes can help

SALT LAKE CITY – With the chilly weather and the shorter days, many people are prone to experience the winter blues. In the latest Let’s Get Moving with Maria podcast episode, host Maria Shilaos spoke with Dr. Jason Hunziker from the Huntsman Mental Health Institute about ways people can overcome the winter blues. Seasonal depression […]
23 hours ago
little cottonwood canyon pictured, avalanche risk there is high...
Devin Oldroyd

Backcountry skier dead after fatal fall in Little Cottonwood Canyon

A backcountry skier is dead after "tumbling a significant distance," according to the Unified Police Department. The incident occurred near Lisa Falls.
23 hours ago
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 03: Grammy trophies sit in the press room during the 64th Annual GRAMMY A...
Marianne Garvey, CNN

How to watch the 2023 Grammy Awards: Time, channels and more

The biggest night in music is here with the 65th Grammy Awards on Sunday. If you want to see Harry Styles, Lizzo and more perform, here's how to tune in.
23 hours ago
SLCPD cruiser...
Chandler Holt

SLCPD officer witnesses wrong-way drunk driver crash into embankment

At around 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning, an SLCPD officer witnessed a 2009 black Ford F-150 traveling at a high rate of speed in the wrong lane. 
23 hours ago
This photo purports to show the suspected Chinese balloon flying over Mills River, North Carolina, ...
Heather Chen and Wayne Chang, CNN

China says it ‘reserves the right’ to deal with ‘similar situations’ after US shoot down suspected spy balloon

China says it "reserves the right" to deal with "similar situations" following the United States' decision to shoot down its high-altitude balloon.
23 hours ago
In the golden age of space exploration we live in, cosmic revelations seem to occur more frequently...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

Cosmic seaplanes and self-growing bricks could help us explore other worlds

In the golden age of space exploration we live in, cosmic revelations seem to occur more frequently than ever before.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
All of Italy is in lockdown as coronavirus cases rise