Coronavirus continues to escalate as Italy’s Chief of Army Staff tests positive for the virus. Salvatore Farina, current Chief of Army Staff of Italy, has tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus. He will remain quarantined in his home, with a replacement taking on his official duties
Chief of Army Staff, Salvatore Farina announced that he is self-isolating after not feeling well. He then tested positive for the virus and self-quarantined himself. According to foreign media outlets, General Federico Bonato will replace him in his role as chief of staff.
Coronavirus in Italy (Cases So Far)
Official sources say that the number of people to die from the coronavirus in Italy has shot up by 133 in a day to 366. The Civil Protection Agency revealed that the total number of infections leapt from 5883 to 7375 with a sudden increase of 25%.The outbreak originated in December in China. The latest figures mean Italy now has the second highest number of confirmed infections outside China. It is approaching South Korea, where the total number of cases is nearing 7,400.
Italy On Lockdown
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a decree early Sunday that will put millions of people across northern Italy on lockdown due to concerns of the disease. The Prime Minister wrote on his twitter: “#Coronavirus, appena firmato il nuovo decreto”. This translates to “#Coronavirus , just signed the new decree”.
Announcing the new measures, Conte said:
“There will be an obligation to avoid any movement of people who are either entering or leaving the affected areas.”.
“Even within the areas moving around will occur only for essential work or health reasons.”, he said; according to Reuters.
He further continued;
“We want to guarantee the health of our citizens. We understand that these measures will impose sacrifices, sometimes small and sometimes very big,”
The Lockdown’s Application
This sweeping move by Conte puts the entire Lombardy region, as well as 14 other provinces, under travel restrictions. This is one of the toughest responses implemented, outside of China, to get the Covid-19 epidemic under control.
While the lockdown only applies to northern Italy, other measures will be applied to the entire country. These include the suspension of schools, university classes, theaters and cinemas, as well as bars, nightclubs, and sports events. Religious ceremonies, including funerals, will also be suspended.
The World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised Italy for making “genuine sacrifices” with the restrictions. He also said that WHO is supporting Italy all the way.
The government & the people of 🇮🇹 are taking bold, courageous steps aimed at slowing the spread of the #coronavirus & protecting their country & 🌍. They are making genuine sacrifices. @WHO stands in solidarity with 🇮🇹 & is here to continue supporting you.https://t.co/Y2rkgUihtA
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 8, 2020
This strict new quarantine measures affect a quarter of the Italian population and centre on the rich northern part of the country that powers its economy. Italy has also closed museums, theaters, cinemas and other entertainment venues nationwide to fight the spread of the coronavirus, the decree signed Sunday by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stated.
Italy has one of the world’s oldest populations. The COVID-19 coronavirus is particularly dangerous for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Keeping all this in mind, this is surely a much-needed measure taken by the Italy Government that will play a major role in keeping the spread of the COVID-19 virus contained. All the other Governments of the World should take some pages from Conte’s book and also take measures to put the lives and well-being of the people above all else.