UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Italian authorities said on Monday four new deaths from the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths recorded in the peninsula where the Covid-19 infected more than 220 people to seven.
For most of them, the diagnosed patients lived in the north of the peninsula, in the rich regions of Lombardy and Veneto in particular. All were old and some of them already presented serious pathologies before their contamination.
Anxious to slow the rate of new contaminations, the Italian authorities have implemented exceptional measures, closing schools, universities, museums and cinemas for at least a week and prohibiting or shortening public gatherings, starting with the famous Venice carnival.
On Sunday, four Serie A matches, the elite of Italian professional football, were postponed indefinitely.
Ten localities in Lombardy, representing a population of 50,000 people, are now completely cut off from the rest of the peninsula and a similar measure has been taken for a small town in Veneto.
“Honestly, no one thought that the spread (of the coronavirus) would be as high. The disease is not serious, but it should not be underestimated,” commented Attilio Fontana, president of the Lombardy region on radio 102.5 RTL.
According to him, the emergency measures decided last weekend will show their effectiveness and “within a few days, the spread of the virus will begin to decrease”.
The multiplication of cases and the speed taken by the spread of the virus worry investors who fear its effects on the north of Italy, the industrial heart of the peninsula.
The impact of this crisis on the Italian economy “could be very strong,” Council President Giuseppe Conte told reporters in the evening.
The Milan Stock Exchange lost 5.4% on Monday, dragging other European equity markets in its wake.
The fear of Italy becoming a new center of coronavirus is beginning to materialize, in particular with the decision of the Mauritian authorities who have given the passengers of an Alitalia flight originating in Lombardy and Veneto the choice between a placement in quarantine and a repatriation.
Tunisia, for its part, announced that it could suspend certain air links with Italy and Austria briefly did the same with the Italian-Austrian rail links.
In France, a coach operated by Flixbus from Milan was isolated in Lyon due to the presence on board of an Italian suspected of carrying the coronavirus. The tests performed on this driver were ultimately negative.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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