İrem UZUN -TDO- The Italian government has ordered the closure of all schools and universities nationwide until 15 March as it grapples to contain Europe’s worst outbreak of coronavirus, which has claimed 107 lives, an increase of 28 in 24 hours. “We are focused on taking all measures for direct containment or delaying the spread of the virus,” the prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, said as he announced the most stringent containment measures outside Asia. “The health system risks going into overload, and we will have a problem with intensive care if an exponential crisis continues.”
The Italian government on Wednesday morning also issued new guidance aimed at preventing the spread of the virus. Rules in place for the next 30 days include no hugging or handshakes, and over-75s are advised to stay at home. Numerous events have been cancelled and sporting events will take place behind closed doors, whilst many have been suspended. More than 2,500 people have tested for the virus in Italy as of Tuesday, and there have been 79 deaths in Italy connected to coronavirus in Italy at the time of writing. Most cases are still concentrated in the “yellow zone” regions of Lombardy, Veneto, and Emilia Romagna, but all but one of Italy's 20 regions have now reported cases of the virus.
Italy had the dubious honor of being the worst-affected country from the coronavirus outside Asia, having overtaken Iran in terms of the number of deaths and infections from the virus. The death toll in Italy jumped to 79 on Tuesday, up from an official total of 52 on Monday. As of Wednesday morning, there are 2,502 cases of the virus in Italy, according to Italian media reports that are updated ahead of the daily official count, published by Italy’s Civil Protection Agency every evening. Italy’s health authorities said Tuesday they may set up a new quarantine area, a so-called “red zone,” to try to contain the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported.