The quarantine initially imposed only in northern Italy over coronavirus has been extended to the entire country last night.
Italy has thus restricted travel across the entire country, an unprecedented move taken by the Giusseppe Conte government in the struggle to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The number of deaths from coronavirus in Italy rose from 366 to 463 on Monday in an unprecedented highest day-to-day death toll.
Hospitals are struggling to provide space and beds, and medical equipment for the sick, with some of them being overwhelmed.
On Monday evening, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he was extending a ban on travel that was already in force in northern Italy to the rest of the country (that means more than 60 million citizens). It means that personal travelling is forbidden, except for the mandatory work, or for health and family emergencies.
Therefore, all public gatherings are cancelled and such measures have not been seen since the second world war. Participation in weddings and funerals is also banned, not to mention sports events and concerts. Theaters, gyms, ski resorts, and discos are shut down.
Schools have been closed since last week through March 15, but the Italian PM Conte said the order would be extended to include almost a full month, until April 3.
Also called “I Stay Home” decree, has been in place as of Tuesday morning. Conte argued that Italy was facing a “national emergency and needed to take these measures to stop the spread of the virus and to prevent hospitals from being overloaded. “
Italian authorities are recommending people to avoid going out, to stay at least one meter away from others at bars, cafes, and in supermarkets, while people who experience symptoms of the coronavirus had been instructed to stay home altogether.
The ‘social distancing’ measures are an effort to curtail the spreading of the virus.
However, Italian doctors have somehow “celebrated” a small victory, as “the patient zero” has left the intensive care unit.
The latest reports worldwide point to 114,300 cases and 4,026 deaths, with all countries closing ranks and preparing for an “emergency state”.
Romania has also joined efforts to prevent the spread of the virus, announcing extraordinary measures on Monday, with the most important one being the school closure.