The number of coronavirus cases in Italy shot past 9,000 on Monday, forcing Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to put the entire country on lockdown.
Over the weekend, the government quarantined the northern region of Lombardy and 14 neighboring provinces. On Monday, as 463 people were killed by the COVID-19 virus, Conte extended the restriction zone to encompass the whole country of over 60 million people, BBC reported.
Mark Lowen said Conte urged citizens to keep the common good top of mind and help control the spread of the coronavirus. He also canceled all sports gatherings.
—Mark Lowen (@marklowen) March 9, 2020
The coronavirus erupted in Wuhan, China, late last year and has since infected more than 111,000 people globally and led to over 3,900 deaths. As of Monday, Italy has been the worst-hit country outside of Asia.
As part of sweeping restrictions that have been imposed in recent days, schools, museums, theaters, and swimming pools throughout the country have been closed, and weddings and funerals have been halted. Large public events have also been stopped, entire towns have been sealed off, and Italy’s popular tourist destinations are deserted.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.