Italy announces quarantine that affects a quarter of the population

BEIJING: The Italian prime minister announced early Sunday that the entire region of Lombardy and several provinces of other regions were blocked as propagation continued throughout the country.

The new measures will be applied to approximately a quarter of the Italian population and will be in force until at least April 3.

In the middle of the night, Conte signed a decree imposing new restrictions on the movement of people in the Lombardy region and in several northern provinces.

Entry and exit to and from these areas will be allowed only in exceptional cases.

Italy experienced its biggest daily increase in cases of coronavirus on Saturday since the outbreak broke out in the north of the country on February 21.

In its daily update, the Italian civil protection agency said the number of people with the coronavirus increased by 1,247 in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 5,883. Another 36 people also died as a result of the virus, bringing the total to 233.

This is a breaking news update. The previous AP story is below.

The coronavirus strengthened its control over daily life around the world on Saturday when ports in several countries rejected ships with infected passengers, Iran declared a `` sacred jihad '' against the virus and the Vatican announced that it will broadcast the Pope live. weekly blessing

Around the world, more and more countries prepared for a large increase in virus cases. Western countries have been increasingly imitating China, where the virus first emerged at the end of last year, and which has suffered the vast majority of infections - by imposing travel controls and closing public events.

After the city of Venice canceled its precious carnival and governments warned citizens not to travel to Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak, the country faces a possible recession. Hotel occupancy rates in the city of the lagoon were reduced to 1% -2%.

`` The surface of the Grand Canal is like glass because the ships that transport goods are not there. In the vaporetti (water buses), there are only five or six people, '' said Stefania Stea, vice president of the hotel association of Venice.

Italy saw its biggest one-day leap in infections, and the Vatican decided to broadcast the Pope's blessing live on Sunday to prevent people from gathering in St. Peter's Square.

Cruise ships full of passengers faced their own virus problems.

The authorities in California decided on Saturday where to dock the Grand Princess cruise, after 21 tested positive for the virus. There is evidence that the ship that is now inactive in front of San Francisco was the breeding ground for a deadly group of almost 20 cases during a previous trip.

`` Those who should be quarantined will be quarantined, '' said U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. `` Those who require medical help will receive it. '' President Donald Trump said he would have preferred not to allow passengers to disembark on American soil, but would refer to medical experts.

In Egypt, a cruise on the Nile with more than 150 on board was quarantined in the southern city of Luxor after 12 positive tests.

Also on Saturday, the Penang port in Malaysia rejected the cruise because 64 of the 2,000 on board are from Italy. The ship had already been rejected by Thailand and is now heading to Singapore.

And in Malta, which reported its first case of the virus on Saturday, the MSC Opera ship agreed not to enter the port of the Mediterranean country amid local concerns, although infections on board are not suspected. The ship continued to Messina, Sicily, where passengers were able to disembark after officials reviewed medical records.

The virus transmission now goes in all directions.

While the overall death toll has increased more than 3,400, now more people have recovered from the virus than they get sick. As of Saturday, almost 90,000 cases had been reported in Asia; more than 8,000 in Europe; 6,000 in the Middle East; Around 450 in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, and less than 50 cases reported so far in Africa.

While many scientists say that the world is clearly in the middle of a pandemic - a serious global outbreak - the Organization still doesn't call it that, saying the word could scare the world even more.

The virus is still much less widespread than the annual flu epidemics, which cause up to 5 million serious cases worldwide and up to 650,000 deaths a year, according to the WHO.

In Iran, fears about the virus and declining government credibility have become a major challenge for leaders who are already recovering from US sanctions. Over 1,000 infections were confirmed overnight, bringing the country's total to 5,823 cases, including 145 deaths.

The government declared a `` sacred jihad '' against the virus: with gas masks and waterproof uniforms, members of the Revolutionary Guards of Iran sprayed the streets and hospitals with disinfectants.

South Korea, the most affected country outside of China, reported 448 new cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 7,041, with 48 deaths in total.

Italy has seen its biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases since the outbreak broke out in the north of the country on Feb. 21. In its daily update, the Italian civil protection agency said the number of people with the coronavirus increased by 1,247 in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 5,883. Another 36 people also died as a result of the virus, bringing the total to 233.

China reported 44 new cases on Sunday morning in the last 24 hours, the lowest level since it began publishing national figures on January 20, and 27 new deaths. But as infections increased more slowly, the country was struck again by tragedy: a hotel used for medical observation of people who had contact with patients with coronaviruses collapsed on Saturday, trapping 70 people inside, according to local news reports.

Countries outside Asia intensified efforts to control the outbreak.

Saudi Arabia banned viewers in any sports competition starting on Saturday. The NBA and the British sports teams are considering the same.

`` I'm not playing if I don't have fans in the crowd, '' said Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. `` That's what I play for. ''

Spain deployed police to enforce a quarantine. Austria confiscated 21,000 disposable masks that a Turkish company smuggled aboard a tourist bus, seeking to benefit from the growing demand. Meanwhile, Turkish police threatened to take legal action against social media accounts accused of spreading false information about viruses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the USA. UU. They urge older adults and people with serious medical conditions to `` stay home as much as possible '' and avoid crowds.

Most people who get the virus have mild cases, although the elderly face greater risks. Among the many new cases in Europe on Saturday was a doctor in Slovenia who was in contact with more than 100 people in a nursing home after a ski trip to neighboring Italy.

World markets were enjoying a weekend respite from market panic, but the world economy was facing increasing damage. China, the world's largest trader, reported on Saturday that its exports fell 17.2% over the previous year in January and February.

Since then, a total of 78 million migrant workers have returned to work in China, and manufacturers are reopening their doors. But they are not expected to return to normal production until at least April, and most people in Wuhan are still prohibited from leaving their homes.