Italy has taken the drastic measure of quarantining the entire population of the country. This measure came into effect on Monday, as Italy’s death toll rose from 366 to 463.
Italy has taken the drastic measure of quarantining the entire population of the country. This measure came into effect on Monday, as Italy’s death toll rose from 366 to 463. It is now the worst hit country outside of china, and the number of infected continue to rise, with cases in all 20 Italian regions. The measures prevent people from gathering in public, with all sporting events suspended worldwide. This includes the prestigious Serie A Football League. Schools and universities will remain closed until April 3rd, and only those with valid work or justifiable family reasons will be allowed to travel. People are still allowed to shop for food, bars and restaurants are open from 6am to 6pm, but people are advised to stay 1m apart.
There are control measures at trains stations to check temperatures, cruise ships are not allowed to dock at ports, and those traveling in or out of the country by plane now need to explain their reason. The Austrian border is now also closed for Italians, and only people with a medical certificate may cross the border. Several British Budget Airline companies have now cancelled thousands of flights to the country.
To aid those affected by working conditions, Italian mortgage payments will be suspended. This should cushion the economic blow of the epidemic, something that is estimated to cost the tourism industry at least $12.5 billion between March and May. As the worlds 8th largest economy, it is estimated to contract by 3% in the first half of 2020, and some estimate it may need a $500-$800 billion precautionary bailout package to mitigate this effect. It is an economic disaster for those who depend on flocks of tourists for their daily income, and it is certainly going to have an effect well after the virus has disappeared.
Clearly it is a difficult time for humanity. What should people do at individual levels to protect themselves and their loved ones? Clearly better Hygiene, safe distance and avoidance of unnecessary movements are key but most importantly not to panic and follow the directions from local Government bulletins.
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