The government has ordered restaurants, bars and most shops to shut
down until March 25. In addition, it has shut schools and
universities and told everyone to stay at home unless absolutely
essential until April 3.
Since the restrictions were ramped up on March 12, the number of new
cases has more than doubled in Italy to 31,506. The number of deaths
has more than tripled to 2,503.
"I do not know if the measures will be extended beyond April 3. We
will make a decision based on the numbers and events. I cannot rule
it out. We will see in the coming days," said Infrastructure
Minister Paola De Micheli.
The head of welfare in the northern region of Lombardy, the
epicenter of the contagion, said even tougher curbs might be needed
to halt the trend.
[to top of second column]
"Either the curve goes down by Sunday or we will probably have to consider
adopting even more rigid measures," Giulio Gallera told 7 Gold TV.
Lombardy has previously signaled it wants to shut down all businesses, including
production lines, and idle the public transport system to try to extinguish the
(Reporting by Crispian Balmer, Elvira Pollina and Francesca Piscioneri; editing
by Larry King)
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