Empty supermarkets, closed cities and rising mortality: Coronavirus triggers panic in Italy

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

In recent days, the death toll from COVID-19 in Italy has increased to four people. A number of cities in Veneto and Lombardy were quarantined, but local authorities fear the virus may go beyond
17:56, 24 February 2020

Coronavirus in Italy
112 Agency

The first death from COVID-19 coronavirus pneumonia in Italy was recorded on February 21. In three days, the number of patients, as well as the number of fatal cases, increased dramatically: four people died and more than 150 were infected. At the same time, panic among the local population is increasing. Read what is happening now at the epicenter of the coronavirus in Europe.


First victims  

The first cases of coronavirus infection in Italy were recorded in January this year. Two tourists who came from Wuhan turned out to be sick. In view of this, Italy immediately closed the air communication with China.

In Veneto region, in the northeast of the country, a fatal case occurred on February 21 with a confirmed diagnosis of “coronavirus.” A 78-year-old man was treated at a Padua hospital for about ten days.

His 67-year-old wife was also hospitalized with fever. Euronews writes that it is unclear how exactly the man became infected: he was diagnosed at the last moment.

The second victim of the illness was a 77-year-old resident of the small town of Codogno in Lombardy who suffered from cancer. Coronavirus was discovered after the autopsy.

On Sunday, February 23, officials reported a third fatal case - an elderly woman who was undergoing treatment at an oncology unit at Creama hospital died.

The fourth victim was an 84-year-old man who died within hours of hospitalization


Draconian rules

The first city to be shut down was Codogno with a population of 15,000, where three people tested positive for the virus, including a 38-year-old man and his pregnant wife.

Photo from Codogno

Following a series of new cases, the Italian authorities have ordered the closure of schools, bars and other public places in Lombardy (bordered on Switzerland) and Veneto (with Austria).

The strictest or as the Guardian calls them, "draconian rules" were set up for residents of 11 municipalities in these provinces. Police are patrolling 11 towns – mostly in the Lombardy region, where the first locally transmitted case emerged – that have been in lockdown since Friday night.

About 50,000 residents in the towns under lockdown have been told to stay home and avoid social contact, while schools, shops and businesses – apart from chemists – have been closed and festivities and sporting events including Serie A football matches and the final two days of the Venice carnival have been cancelled.

Milan fashion week has also been affected by the outbreak. Giorgio Armani, whose show was scheduled for Sunday afternoon, announced on Saturday night that guests should not come to the venue.

Locals wearing face masks were already lined up outside a supermarket in the town of Casalpusterlengo, a 10-minute drive from Codogno, on Sunday morning. Shoppers were made to wait, then allowed to enter in groups of 40 inside the store to stock up on provisions.

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