The Italian Government will prohibit the entry and exit of the northern region of Lombardy to and other 11 nearby provinces as one of the new measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus that has already caused 233 deaths and 5,061 infected throughout the country.
This measure, which can affect some 16 million people, is contemplated in a decree that is currently being discussed in the Council of Ministers and that leaked the Italian media.
The other provinces that have become “red zone” are Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Pesaro, Urbino, Venice, Padua, Treviso, Asti and Alessandria.
The decree also establishes the closure of all gyms, swimming pools and thermal centers in the aforementioned areas, as well as museums, cultural centers and ski resorts, while the shopping centers must be closed on weekends and the closing of the the schools until April 3.
In addition, all events are suspended, both in public or private places, including those of a cultural, recreational, sports and religious nature and therefore civil and religious wedding ceremonies and funerals are canceled.
While restaurants and bars are kept open, with the obligation to maintain a safe distance of one meter between people.
The isolation of these areas will add to that of the ten Lombard municipalities and the town of Vo Euganeo (in the neighboring Veneto region), where about 50,000 people have been in quarantine for 15 days.
Measures that have become necessary since the free movement of people has led to cases being registered throughout Italy due to people who had been in the areas considered to be the focus of the epidemic.
Those killed in Italy by the coronavirus are 233, which is 36 more than on Friday, while 1,145 infected people have reached 5,061, according to the latest data provided by the head of Civil Protection, Angelo Borrelli.
Given the exponential growth of the cases, the Lombardy authorities had asked the Government to take measures to stop the spread.
In Lombardy 2,742 cases are registered, of which 1,661 are hospitalized and 359 in intensive care, which would be causing enormous problems to the health functioning of the region.
The body that coordinates the intensive care units of Lombardy ensures in a note that “in the absence of urgent and appropriate measures by the authorities we will have to face an event that we can only describe as disastrous health calamity.”
The health adviser of the Lombardia region, Giulio Gallera, today asked his fellow citizens for responsibility and that they respect the prevention measures that have been approved, such as leaving a meter of distances between people, after seeing images of places full of people or queues at the ski resorts.