The whole of Italy has been placed under quarantine, as the government steps up efforts to tackle the coronavirus outbreak that has affected more than 9,000 people and left 463 dead in the country.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced late on Monday that he is extending restrictions on travel, that had been in place in the north, throughout the country.
Conte said a new government decree will require all people in Italy to demonstrate a need to work, health conditions or other limited reasons to travel outside the areas where they live.
“There won’t be just a red zone, there will be Italy,” Conte said reporters referring to a lockdown of areas in northern Italy instituted over the weekend.
Italy’s death toll increased by 97 since Sunday to 463 in one day, Italian authorities said. The total number of confirmed cases also rose to 9,172 from 7,375.
Globally, more than 3,800 people have died from the coronavirus and over 110,000 cases have been confirmed.
French culture minister tests positive for coronavirus
Culture Minister Franck Riester has tested positive to the novel coronavirus
and is staying in his Paris home but is doing fine, his office said
“The minister tested positive today,” after displaying symptoms, the ministry said.
It noted that Riester spent several days last week at the country’s lower house National Assembly, where five virus cases were confirmed earlier.
Canada records first death from the coronavirus
Canadian health officials say a man has died of the new virus at a home for the elderly in North Vancouver in what is believed to be the country’s first coronavirus death.
British Columbia Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced at the weekend that two residents of the Lynn Valley Care Centre had been diagnosed with the virus.
Henry says the diagnoses followed an earlier diagnosis of a worker at the care home, making the cases especially concerning as examples of community transmission.
Fifth UK death confirmed
A fifth person in the United Kingdom has died after contracting coronavirus, the health service said.
“We can confirm that sadly, a patient in their seventies who was very unwell with a number of significant and long term health conditions has passed away at St Helier Hospital,” said Daniel Elkeles, chief executive for Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust in a statement.
Threat of coronavirus pandemic ‘has become very real’: WHO
The coronavirus is closer to causing a pandemic but outbreaks in countries can still be controlled through a combination of containment and mitigation measures, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
“Now that the virus has a foothold in so many countries, the threat of a pandemic has become very real,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, told a news conference.
“But it would be the first pandemic that could be controlled. The bottom line is we are not at the mercy of the virus.”
Four countries account for 93 percent of the 110,000 cases worldwide, Tedros said. “We are encouraged that Italy is taking aggressive measures to contain its epidemic and we hope that those measures prove effective in the coming days.”