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Italy expands its quarantine to the entire country as coronavirus cases and deaths surge

  • Italy expands its quarantine to the entire country as coronavirus cases and deaths surge
    Coronavirus: Italy extends quarantine measures nationwide Italy expands its quarantine to the entire country as coronavirus cases and deaths surge
Region:
Europe
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Society
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Italy is extending its coronavirus quarantine measures, which include a ban on public gatherings, to the entire country.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that people would only be permitted to travel for work or family emergencies.

He said the measures, which come into effect on Tuesday, were to defend the most fragile members of society.

Italy's coronavirus death toll jumped on Monday by 97 to 463. It is the worst-hit country after China.

The number of confirmed infections also increased to 9,172, up from 7,375 on Sunday, official figures show.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in all 20 Italian regions.

In a televised address on Monday, Mr Conte said that Italy's "customs must change" and that the best thing was for people to stay at home.

"We're having an important growth in infection... and of deaths," he said.

Italian officials previously announced a lockdown of the Lombardy region, which is the part of the country hardest hit by COVID-19. The drastic expansion of the measures to encompass the entire country come after nationwide COVID-19 deaths jumped by 97 on Monday to 463.

Italy also reported a surge of 1,807 confirmed cases nationwide, bringing the total to at least 9,172 confirmed cases, which is the largest daily increase in Italy in terms of absolute numbers since the contagion first came to light on Feb. 21.

While the spread of the virus is slowing in China, where it originated in December, it’s picking up pace across other parts of the world, including Italy. World Health Organization officials said Monday it’s reassuring that the virus appears to have been controlled in China and other countries such as Singapore. However, the virus is now present in more than 100 countries around the world and global cases have surpassed 100,000.

“It is in our hands. ... In many countries, it will get worse before it gets better,” said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead of WHO’s emergencies program. Roughly 93% of the global cases are concentrated in four countries: China, Korea, Italy and Iran, WHO officials said. “Absolutely, we see a light at the end of the tunnel, but how quickly we get there depends on what countries do.”