Italy Quarantines Entire Country Amid Virus Panic

“Stay at home.”

That was Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s advice to Italians on Monday as he announced that he would sign a decree to extends the lockdown of the northern Lombardy region to the entire country.

The prime minister told Italians they should not leave their homes except for work and emergencies. He added that all public gatherings will be banned and all sporting events suspended. Conti also said the strict new measures will take effect Tuesday.

Conte said Italy’s “customs must change” as he declared: “We’re having an important growth in infection… and of deaths.”

Italy has so far been the hardest-hit country in Europe by the coronavirus (COVID-19), with a total of at least 9,172 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. Next to China, Italy is the country with the most cases of the highly contagious virus. To date there have 463 deaths in the country.

More than 60 million Italians will be under quarantine by the strict measures, which was first enacted in northern and some central areas over the weekend.

“The future depends on us and everyone must do their part,” Conte said.

“We all must give something up for the good of Italy. We have to do it now, and we’ll only be able if we all collaborate and adapt to these more stringent measures,” he said. “This is why I decided to adopt even more strong and severe measures to contain the advance… and protect the health of all citizens,” he said.

What’s more, Conte canceled “nightlife.”

“No more nightlife; we can’t allow this anymore since they are occasions for contagion,” he said.

The prime minister’s decree also extends the closure of schools and universities across the country April 3.


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