A new decree was announced by Italy President Conte at a press conference today, Monday, March 9, at 9 pm via a unified TV network. The decree will come into force tomorrow on Tuesday, March 10. There will no longer be zone 1 and zone 2 due to COVID-19, but now just one single zone: Protected Italy, also being called the Red Zone.
The directives issued to the citizens of Italy by the government are to stay at home as much as possible and leave only if strictly necessary. In this regard, the campaign with the hashtag “I’m staying at home” is broadcast daily by Italian song and show idols on TV as well as from the Ministry of Health on the hygiene measures to be observed.
The decree that qualifies Italy as a whole protected “red zone” area was preceded by the decree of March 7 at 10 pm which declared:
“In order to counter and contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the Lombardy region and in the provinces of Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Pesaro and Urbino, Venice, Padua, Treviso, Asti, and Alessandria are adopted the following measures: absolutely avoid any movement into and out of the territories referred to in this article, as well as within the same territories referred to in this article, except for movements motivated by indifferent work needs or emergency situations.
The Lombardy Decree gave way to the phenomenon of mass panic. Thousands of people not residing in Milan rushed to the railway station and stormed the trains even without reservations, creating enormous inconvenience to the railway staff.
In addition to the risk of being able to bring any virus infection to citizens’ areas of residence, at the time of the “escape,” the decree had not yet been approved. Such behavior could also have negative effects on the regions where people went to take refuge, so much so that some of them have been placed in quarantine for those who came from the areas are considered to be at risk.
The basic mistake of this whole scenario was to bring out the draft of the decree before it had even been approved. The Welfare Council, Giulio Gallera, said measures like in Wuhan will be taken if citizens don’t help the government.
Out of 16 million inhabitants in Lombardy, there are 6,587 infections and 366 deaths as of today. The appeal: “Stay at home, it’s the only weapon we have.” The COVID-19 Coronavirus emergency in Lombardy is still evolving. For now, “our healthcare system holds up,” said the Councilor Gallera.
Intensive-care beds for COVID-19 have risen to 497, and Lombardy can send patients to other regions through the Cross network. However, the race against time has a limit which was clarified by the Lombard intensivists in their letter to the Government.
If the infection does not slow down, speak of “18,000 hospitalized” by March 26, of which “between 2,700 and 3,200 [will be] in intensive care.” Councilor Gallera said: “In Lombardy, they are still managing to give an answer in terms of ICU admissions, but in the last few days, they have increased by 700%.
“We are opening intensive care places everywhere; we are doing a huge job, but it’s a continuous war, I don’t know how long we can do it.”
Stop to non-urgent benefits
In order to recover personnel to be assigned to the emergency, the stop to non-urgent and deferred services in public and private hospital surgeries was triggered today, which is total for the paid professionals.
Disorders in prison institutions
There are riots inside 22 Italian prisons caused by prisoners after a case of contagion and protests from family members outside for the ban on meetings with detainees. A riot in San Vittore prison in Milan caused fires and 6 deaths. Detainees ask for pardons. In southern penitentiaries, 20 escaped and were then recovered.
The Coronavirus war report
Schools and universities closed until April 3 in Northern Italy. Events of all kinds as well as football matches, religious services, weddings, conferences, gyms, swimming pools, and more are prohibited.
A complete collapse of tourism is happening in the country. In Venice, all hotels are closed – a total of 400 – due to a lack of reservations until April 3. Similar situations are happening in the rest of Italy with a forecast of economic damages of billions at the national level. The economic sector is in serious jeopardy.
The European Union approved flexibility and state aid stating COVID19 affects everyone. The Italian Radio Television (RAI) has come to the aid of the students due to the closure of the schools with a program “RAI for the school” which includes 8-hour daily distance teaching programs.
The infection has affected some doctors from the Bambin-Gesù pediatric hospital in Rome. The only positive piece of news is that from March 10, identification checks of travelers will be carried out on roads, highways, airports, railway stations, airports, and cities. Individuals need to show self-certification with motivation regarding the move. Holders of false certificates will undergo penalties established by the decree.
Good news on the horizon? The latest rumor mill indicates Israel reporting a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine may soon be available. In the United States, the time estimate is one year before a vaccine will be available to everyone.