Panic-buyers were queuing with shopping trolleys outside 24-hour supermarkets in cities including Rome and Naples last night after prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced the latest drastic measures.

This after the entire country was placed on lockdown in the wake of the deadly strain of COVID-19.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte expanded the quarantine measures to all 60 million people in Italy last night in the hardest-hit north had failed to show the outbreak.

Mail Online reports: “Conte declared that ‘everyone must give up something to protect the health of citizens’ with more than 9,000 cases now confirmed and 463 people dead.

“Our habits must be changed, changed now. We all have to give up something for the good of Italy,” Conte said.

“When I speak of Italy, I speak of our dear ones, of our grandparents and of our parents.

“We will succeed only if we all collaborate and we adapt right away to these more stringent norms.”

Police in Naples were patrolling the streets with a loudhailer to warn people to “stay indoors, avoid unnecessary outings and avoid going to crowded places”.

“The virus is spreading so quickly that doctors are now having to make life-or-death decisions about who gets access to intensive care,” the report said.

“Ethics rules call on doctors to consider a patient’s age and their chance of survival when allocating hospital beds.

“The criteria include the patient’s age and the likelihood of survival, and not just ‘first come first served.”

Head of the Association of doctors in northern Piedmont, Dr Guido Giustetto said: “It’s a reasoning that our colleagues make.

“It becomes dramatic if, rather than doing it under normal situations, they do it because the beds are so scarce that someone might not have access to medical care.”

“Italians have been ordered not to move around the country except for work and emergencies, with public gatherings and football matches cancelled.

“Italy registered 1,807 more confirmed cases as of Monday evening, for a national total of 9,172.

“The number of dead in Italy also increased by 97 to 463 – most of them elderly with previous ailments.

“It comes with China beginning to scale down its virus operation, closing the temporary hospitals which sprung up in Wuhan where the outbreak began.”

WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Now that the virus has a foothold in so many countries, the threat of a pandemic has become very real.”

But he welcomed Italy’s tough measures, noting that just four countries – China, South Korea, Italy and Iran – accounted for 93 per cent of cases worldwide.

“It would be the first pandemic that could be controlled,” Tedros added.

“The bottom line is we are not at the mercy of the virus.”


Meanwhile, the Lombardy government has been “scrambling to increase its intensive care capacity, converting operating and recovery rooms into isolated wards”.

“It has cobbled together 150 more beds in the last two weeks and expects another 150 in the coming week,” the report said.

Dr Massimo Galli, Head of Infectious Disease at Milan’s Sacco Hospital said: “‘Unfortunately we’re only at the beginning.

“Galli noted that Wuhan, the center of China’s outbreak that infected more than 80,000 people nationwide, is a concentrated metropolis of 11 million and Lombardy is spread out.

“But the numbers ‘tell you that the diffusion is a real possibility,’ he warned.

“Also alarming was Italy’s high fatality rate: With 463 dead and 9,172 infected, Italy’s fatality rate is running at five per cent, higher than the 3-4 per cent elsewhere.

“Dr Giovanni Rezza, head of infectious disease at the National Institutes of Health, attributed it to the fact that Italy has the world’s oldest population after Japan.

“The median age of Italy’s virus-related dead is 80.

“But some younger people have also been in intensive care, including the first person to test positive in the north who had not been to China.”

Intensive Care Chief, Dr Francesco Mojoli told RAI state television: “This disease has a long life.

“Now we hope that the fact that he was young and in good shape will help him get back to his normal life.”