Millions put under corona quarantine in Italy


Little guidance has been given by the Italian government, although it said the lockdown in the northern Lombardy region where Milan is situated, would last until at least April. 3.Around 10 million people live in the area.

"I can not fail to stress that the draft decree of the prime minister is - to say the least - messed up", Lombardy region president Attilio Fontan was quoted as saying by Italy's Sky TG24 rolling news channel.

The decree said that only people with a "serious" reason that can not be postponed, such as urgent work or family issues, would be allowed in or out of the quarantine zones, which affect one-quarter of Italy's population of 60 million.

Panicked travelers rushed to flee northern Italy before more than a quarter of its population was placed under lockdown Sunday to combat coronavirus outbreak.

The measure, which takes immediate effect and will remain in place until at least 3 April, also means the cancellation of all concerts and public and private events.

According to the decree, all museums, gyms, cultural centers, ski resorts and swimming pools will be shut in the targeted zones.

So far the decree has been signed by the prime minister, but it will not be an official executive order until the council of ministers approves it.

In the USA, officials in Washington state are considering mandatory measures to limit the spread of the virus as it deals with the worst outbreak in the country.

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Meanwhile, the US death toll from the virus climbed to 19, with all but three victims in Washington state, and infections rose to over 430. Some 16 million people will be affected, and those who flout the rules could face three months in jail.

Restaurants and cafes can open but customers must sit at least a metre apart.

The outspoken head of Italy's opposition far-right League party, Matteo Salvini, demanded clarity from the government for the "millions of anxious Italians".

"We want to protect the health of all citizens", Conte said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the Trump administration's coronavirus task force, says he is not encouraged as he learns more about the outbreak's scope in the U.S. "We understand that these measures will impose sacrifices, sometimes small and sometimes very big". Those individuals will be taken to medical facilities in California, it said.

Numerous city's outdoor restaurants and cafes were either closed on Saturday night or had free tables overseen by forlorn staff with little to do but chat.

Since the new coronavirus emerged from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, Hubei province, late a year ago nearly 3,600 people have died in over 106,000 cases worldwide. By Sunday more than 6,000 people were sickened and 366 dead - an uptick of 133 dead from the day before. Crew members will be treated and quarantined on board the ship, officials said.

Around the globe, more and more events were cancelled or hidden behind closed doors, from the pope's Sunday service, to a Formula One auto race in Bahrain and a sumo competition in Japan.