Italy has said all shops except pharmacies and food outlets will be closed in response to the country’s coronavirus outbreak as the death toll from the disease in the country jumped sharply by 31% to 827 in the last 24 hours.
A top Italian doctor said intensive care wards should place an age limit on beds as a way of prioritising medical resources amid the deepening crisis that has seen cases in Italy rise by 196 to 827 today.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the latest wave of restrictions in a dramatic appeal to the nation that came as the country of 60 million battles its biggest crisis in generations.
Conte said in his nine-minute evening prime time address to the nation: ‘Thank you to all Italians who make sacrifices. We are proving to be a great nation.’
Italians have watched ever tighter restrictions slowly eat away at the very fabric of everyday life as a government decree on Monday stopped non-essential travel between cities and banned public gatherings.
The existing clampdown on public gathering and basic travel had already emptied streets and shuttered everything from churches to restaurants.
It comes as total confirmed infections in Europe rose to 23,339 with 951 deaths, according to a new tally which is compiled from official sources.
In Italy, the number has risen to 12,149 cases with 827 fatalities. More European countries are reporting their first deaths of people with the new contagion.