Italy announces lockdown as coronavirus cases rise to more than 5,800

Italy is under lockdown as the death toll from COVID-19 has risen from 233 on Saturday to 366 cases, officials have said. 

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a decree early Sunday that will put about 16 million people in the prosperous northern part of the country under lockdown due to the novel coronavirus. This sweeping move to restrict the movements of a quarter of its people to control the Covide-19 epidemic is one of the toughest responses implemented outside of mainland China. The affected regions include Lombardy and at least 14 provinces in neighbouring regions, including the cities of Venice, Modena, Parma, and Rimini. The extraordinary measures will be in place until April 3.

In a statement by the Civil Protection Department, the announcement came after Italy saw a dramatic spike of 1,247 confirmed cases on Saturday.

The total number of confirmed cases in Italy continues to rise and now stands at 7,375 – up from 5,883 on Saturday. The number of deaths from coronavirus in the country has risen from 233 on Saturday to 366, officials have said.

While the lockdown applies to northern Italy, other measures will be applied to the entire country. These include the closing of schools and classes, theatres and cinemas, bars, nightclubs, sports events, as well as religious ceremonies, including funerals.

Other countries in Europe are also struggling to contain outbreaks as the number of confirmed cases continues to rise.

News of the lockdown created chaos and confusion hours before the decree was signed and saw hundreds of passengers, some wearing face masks and rubber gloves, crammed onto the last local train leaving Padua at 11:30 p.m Saturday night.

What’s happening in the rest of Europe

The United Kingdom confirmed 273 cases on Sunday, up from 209 a day earlier and two patients have died. Meanwhile, France confirmed 16 dead and 949 infected nationwide as of Saturday, and Germany now has 795 cases. The Czech Republic had reported 26 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Saturday evening.

What’s happening in Canada

There are now 29 confirmed cases of the illness in the province. Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said the latest patient is a woman in her 40s who recently returned to Toronto from Colorado. The woman is currently at home in self-isolation and Toronto Public Health is tracing the people with whom she was in contact.

Quebec confirmed two cases in the province and two presumptive cases, which await confirmation by the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg.

Alberta now has one confirmed case of COVID-19 with three presumptive cases.

There are 27 confirmed cases in B.C. and five presumptive.

The total confirmed cases in Canada is 59.

What’s happening in the U.S.

There are now at least 521 cases across 33 states in the U.S. on Sunday, according to the state and local health agencies and the CDC. Washington State, New York and California accounted for about 100 or more cases and have declared emergencies, as has Oregon State. There are now 21 deaths.

The Grand Princess cruise ship was headed to dock at the Port of Oakland, California. The ship that has been held off the coast of California after 21 people onboard tested positive for the coronavirus. More than 3,500 passengers and crew members from 54 countries including 237 Canadians on the ship. 19 crew members and two passengers have tested positive.

What’s happening in East Asia

The total number of worldwide cases stands at more than 105,000, with 3,599 deaths. Nearly 90,000 cases have been reported in Asia.

China’s National Health Commission reported 99 new cases with 27 new deaths from the coronavirus on Sunday.

South Korea announced another 179 cases of COVID-19 on Sunday bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 7,313.

In Japan, the number of confirmed COVID-19 rose to 463 on Sunday.

What’s happening in the Middle East

In Iran, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases rises to 6,566 on Sunday and 194 deaths from the virus.

Israel has reported 25 coronavirus infections and 20,000 Israelis who returned from hot spots for the disease are now under quarantine.

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