Coronavirus death toll in Italy rises by 100 for second day in a row, jumps from 366 to 463
Italy has been the European country most affected by the coronavirus, with the total number of cases rising on from 7,375 to 9,172. It also has a higher mortality rate from the virus than any other country in the world.
To combat the spread of the disease, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a decree restricting the travel of people living in Lombardy – where there have been the most cases – and fourteen other northern provinces, essentially setting up a massive quarantine.
At least 16 million people have been quarantined, with travel restrictions in place until April 3. Even government officials have been affected by the disease. Italian Chief of Army Staff Salvatore Farina tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend and self-quarantined inside his home. Alberto Cirio, the head of the north-western Piedmont region, and Nicola Zingaretti, the head of the central Lazio region, have also contracted the disease.Also on rt.com Italian prisoners RIOT over coronavirus safety measures (VIDEOS)
The lack of stability also extends to Italy's prisons, where officials have been dealing with riots over a move to suspend family visits to help stop the spread of the disease. “There have been a series of rebellions across the country,” Italy's prison administration head Francesco Basentini announced on Monday. Prisoners at San Vittore Prison in Milan set cells on fire and displayed signs reading "freedom" and "pardon." Prisons in Modena and Pavia have also dealt with riots and fires, which have caused major damage to the structures.
PM Conte has also closed schools, gyms, nightclubs, and other venues in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease.
The World Health Organization has now acknowledged the threat of the coronavirus turning into a pandemic is "very real."
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Monday, however, that despite the disease spreading, it can "be controlled."
"We are not at the mercy of the virus," he said.
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