19 Mar, 2020 @ 12:04
1 min read

COVID-19: Italy to extend its nationwide lockdown past April 3 while number of coronavirus cases in Spain nears 15,000

Italian PM Giuseppe Conte

ITALY’S coronavirus lockdown is set to be extended past April 3. 

Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte announced the extension in an interview with Italian newspaper Il Corriere della.

It comes as the country has registered thousands of deaths, almost as many as China, where the pandemic began.

“The measures that we have taken, which saw the closure of most of the companies in the country and all schools, will continue past the previously stated end,” he said.

Italian PM Giuseppe Conte

“We have avoided a system collapse and the measures are working,” he added, “But it is clear that when we reach a peak and the contagions begin to decrease, at least in percentage wise in a few days, we will not be able to return immediately to the lives we had before.”

COVID-19 killed 475 people in a single day yesterday, the worst on record for Italy, which has seen almost 3,000 die from the disease.

China, where the outbreak began, has registered 3,200 deaths.

“It is not necessary to say more, but it is clear that the measures we have adopted, such as the closure of many commercial and individual activities and schools, will have to be extended,” Conte said.

He added that sanctions will be severe for anyone going against the lockdown.

It comes after leaders in Spain have also suggested that the current nationwide lockdown could be extended.

“It is evident that we will have to extend this situation,” Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos said earlier this week, “we will see with what measures, but in 15 days I do not think we will be capable of winning this battle.”

His comments came as Spain surpassed 9,00 cases – it is now nearing 15,000.

The total of confirmed cases as of this morning was 14,769.

Some 638 have been killed in Spain while 1,081 have been cured.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

GOT A STORY? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es or call +34 951 273 575 Twitter: @olivepress

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