Locked up by decree-law: Italy prohibits entering and leaving coronavirus-affected areas while infections are growing

What until yesterday was nothing more than a recommendation from regional governments, has been transformed into a law decree. The Italian council of ministers met urgently yesterday and approved a series of measures that, as explained by the prime minister, included the suspension of work activities and a battery of sanctions for those who enter or leave quarantined areas.

The decree requires residents to stay in the affected areas for at least two weeks. For this, the State will grant them sick leave, suspend school activities and demand that movements within the areas be minimal (and always for reasons of primary necessity). That is, since yesterday there are 50,000 people locked up by decree-law.

While measures are in place, investigations are stalled

Tatiana Rodriguez

In the last hours, the epidemic has reached four Italian regions and exceeds a hundred cases: 89 in Lombardy, 17 in Veneto, three in Rome and two for Emilia Romagna. Fear that the epidemic will continue to grow within the country and that it will even spread across the continent has forced the Government to take more serious measures. It should not be forgotten that Lombardy has a border with Switzerland and Veneto with Austria.

Meanwhile, Rome continues to search for the epidemiological connection since analyzes of the alleged "patient zero" (a 40-year-old businessman who returned from Shanghai on January 21 and had contact with the first infected) never had the virus. However, authorities hope that the situation will be clarified during the next week as new analyzes better outline the path of the virus.

Image | David T Du

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