Italy Quarantines 16 Million People to Slow Spread of Coronavirus

Posted on March 8, 2020

Italy has introduced a massive quarantine of 16 million people in an attempt to slow the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. The lockdown includes the hard hit Lombardy region in northern Italy and 14 other provinces. Venice and Milan are two major cities included in the quarantine.

The New York Times calls the move the "most sweeping effort outside China." Other western nations may also find themselves forced to come very close to China's extremely aggressive quarantine procedures in order to slow the spread of Covid-19 and prevent it from overwhelming health systems.

Italy has nearly 6,000 cases of the virus and 233 deaths. Those infected include a leading Italian politician. His advice is "don't panic." Italy is also bringing doctors out of retirement to help fight the outbreak and installing large tents to expand hospital grounds.

Bethany Bell for BBC News describes it as a "partial lockdown." Planes and trains are still running. Restaurants are open but people are not supposed to sit very close together.

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