Italy Prime Minister Locks Down Entire Country To Stop Coronavirus

The latest in COVID-19

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Italy Prime Minister Locks Down Entire Country To Stop Coronavirus

Quick Take

  • Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte places the entire country on lockdown until April 3rd.
  • Clusters of the virus swell on both coasts of the U.S. with 70 cases now tied to a conference in Boston.
  • China’s leader Xi Jinping visits Wuhan for the first time since the outbreak.

Italian Prime Minister Locks Down Entire Country

The Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte has put his entire country on lockdown as of Monday to combat the coronavirus, just two days after imposing the same strict measures on a quarter of the country in the north. Conte urged all 60 million Italians to stay home. The only travel allowed will be for proven work reasons, for health conditions or other cases of necessity.

Conte stated “Our habits must be changed, changed now. We all have to give up something for the good of Italy. When I speak of Italy, I speak of our dear ones, of our grandparents and of our parents. We will succeed only if we all collaborate and we adapt right away to these more stringent norms.”

The nationwide lockdown includes the banning of all non-essential travel and closures of schools and universities. Pubs, eateries, and cafes must also close at dusk. Italy’s national total number of confirmed cases has surpassed the 10k mark with 10,149 cases. The number of dead in Italy has also increased to 631 individuals — most of them elderly with pre-existing conditions.

Clusters Swell On Both Sides Of The US

Alarming clusters of the coronavirus swelled on both coasts of the U.S. with 70 cases now tied to a biotech conference in Boston and infections turning up at 10 nursing homes in Washington state.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency, as cases statewide jumped by 51 from the day before to 92. Of that number, 70 are now connected to a meeting held last month by biotech company Biogen at a hotel in downtown Boston.

Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden abruptly canceled rallies because of worries about the virus, and New York’s governor announced he is sending the National Guard to scrub public places and deliver food in New York City suburb New Rochelle that is at the center of the nation’s biggest known cluster of infections.

The battle to stop the virus in the US continues as more schools and universities sent students home. The United Nations announced it would close its New York headquarters to the public and suspend all tours. And MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas said it will close buffets at all of its Las Vegas Strip casinos as a precaution.

There are now nearly 1k confirmed cases in the US with 23 deaths in Washington state, one death in New Jersey, and two deaths in California and Florida. 

China’s Leader Xi Jinping Visits Wuhan

China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, toured Wuhan, the city at the center of the epidemic, for the first time since the outbreak began. Wearing a blue mask, the leader’s visit clearly intended to send a powerful signal that the government believes the worst of the national emergency could soon be over in China — just as other countries are at the beginning of their own outbreaks. Some cities, even in the surrounding province of Hubei, have announced plans to loosen some of the most strict limits imposed on millions of people.

Mr. Xi flew into Wuhan in the morning and raced through several sites where people have remained largely under lockdown for nearly seven weeks. The city and surrounding province of Hubei have accounted for more than 3k deaths in mainland China.

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