Italy locks down to check coronavirus

Italy locks down to check coronavirus

Agency News

More than 60 million people in Italy have been placed under lockdown after the government extended emergency measures across the entire country in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The Italian Prime minister, Mr. Giuseppe Conte, announced the drastic measures at a press conference late on Monday, during which he told people to 'stay at home' and banned all public gatherings. 'There is no more time. I will take responsibility for these measures. Our future is in our hands,' he told reporters.

Italy is struggling to contain Europe’s worst outbreak of Covid-19, which has claimed 463 lives and infected 9,172 people. Conte announced that restrictions on travel and public gatherings initially imposed on northern regions on Sunday had been extended to cover the entire country.

'I am going to sign a decree that can be summarised as follows: I stay at home,” he said. “The whole of Italy will become a protected zone.”

The far-reaching measure came amid upheaval in global markets and signs of improvement in mainland China:

Markets rallied after Mr. Donald Trump proposed 'huge' economic measures. On Monday, the US and UK stock markets suffered their worst daily slump since the 2008 financial crisis. Asia markets rallied slightly after Mr. Trump said his administration would ask Congress to pass payroll tax relief and other quick measures.