Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Northern Italy in Lockdown

Outside of China, Italy is one of three countries badly infected by Covid-19:

As at Sunday, March 08, 2020

So much so that the country announced a lockdown on Sunday for its northern region, igniting travel chaos as it restricted the movement of a quarter of the country’s population in an effort to halt the pathogen's relentless march. It is expected to affect some 16 million people living in the Lombardy region and 11 neighboring provinces which includes Milan, Venice and Turin. People will need to seek special permissions to travel for work or medical reasons. 

UK’s The Times reported that under the restrictions, funerals and cultural events are banned, and people are required to keep a distance of at least one meter (about 3 feet) between each other at public places like supermarkets and churches. Anyone with a fever is being encouraged to stay home, and anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus is required to do so. 

And anyone violating the lockdown could be subject to a fine or jail time, and police and soldiers will be enforcing the terms, The Times reported. 

Meanwhile, UK’s Daily Telegraph on Monday called the quarantine in Italy a "farce", reporting that dozens of flights from locked-down areas were permitted to land in the UK. 

The paper had claimed that 17 planes left Milan Malpensa on Sunday alone, and passengers were not put into quarantine or tested for the virus upon arrival. 

The UK Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to areas affected – but it seems, there are no restrictions on Britons or Italians returning from Italy. 

Assuming it is true – these days, you can't be sure about everything you read – that is pretty scary. Anyway, from the daily updates, it appears that Covid-19 infections are spreading far and wide throughout Europe (including the UK).

Other worst hit countries in Europe include:

In Malaysia:

And China:

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