Written by Ramesh Irugalbandara
10 Mar, 2020 | 12:33 pm
The whole of Italy – a country of some 60 million people – has been placed under quarantine, as the government there steps up efforts to tackle a coronavirus outbreak that has affected more than 9,000 people and left 463 dead. The Italian Prime Minister announced late yesterday that he was extending restrictions on travel from the north throughout the country.
Only those who can prove a real need – whether for work, health or other limited reasons – will be allowed to travel outside the areas where they live. The Prime minister’s announcement came as Italy announced 97 more deaths from the virus and the head of the World Health Organization warned the threat of a global coronavirus pandemic was “very real”.
According to the WHO, More than 3,800 people have died from the coronavirus around the world and more than 110,000 cases confirmed.
Meanwhile, Six prisoners died as riots spread through crowded jails across Italy over measures imposed to contain the coronavirus. Inmates, many angered by restrictions on family visits, went on the rampage and started fires from Sunday into yesterday. In one prison, inmates took guards hostage and in another, some escaped. By yesterday afternoon, violence that started at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy had spread south, hitting more than 25 penitentiaries nationwide.
Around 2,500 passengers who were stranded for days onboard a US cruise liner have now begun to disembark. Nineteen crew members and two passengers have tested positive. All those needing immediate treatment were taken off first and driven away in ambulances. All Americans who do not need treatment will be quarantined for two weeks.
Another cruise ship that was being turned away from Thailand and Malaysia amid coronavirus fears, the Italian cruise ship Costa finally docked in Singapore today. The ship docked at Singapore’s Marina Bay Cruise Centre at around 0800 AM Singapore time. Italian cruise line Costa Crociere said there were no suspected virus cases among its guests, which includes Italians
Asian stock markets traded cautiously today as investors came to terms with “Black Monday”. Global shares took a battering on Monday as they reacted badly to the threat of an oil price war breaking out. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped more than 3% at the start of Asian trading on Tuesday morning. Having fallen 5% on Monday, Japanese shares have hit their lowest level since April 2017.
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