Source: New York Post
By Amanda Woods
Italy announced Wednesday it will temporarily close all its schools, universities, cinemas and theaters amid a coronavirus outbreak — as the death toll from the deadly infection there rose above 100, according to new reports.
A total of 107 people who tested positive for the virus in the country have now died — up from 79 reported deaths Tuesday, the Guardian reported., citing Italian authorities.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy now stands at more than 3,000.
Officials said the school closures will begin Thursday and last until March 15, according to the Guardian.
The government also drafted a decree Wednesday calling for the shut-down of cinemas and other theaters, as well as banning other public events, in an effort to contain the outbreak.
Italian officials also said they may set up a new quarantine area, or “red zone,” to further prevent the infection, also known as COVID-19, from spreading.
Red zones have already been set up in Lombardy and Veneto, where 11 towns are quarantined and inhabitants are prohibited from leaving.
“None of us can be sure about the future evolution of the disease,” Angelo Borrelli, head of the country’s Civil Protection Agency, said at a Tuesday news conference. “This is an important week to understand what will happen.”
Hospitals, particularly those in northern Italy, are struggling to carry the weight of those infected. An ambulance driver in an existing “red zone” told La Repubblica newspaper that “hours [will be] decisive” and “if the infection spreads it will be hard.”