Italy has been put on lockdown with public gatherings banned and travel restricted after 9,172 people were infected with coronavirus, resulting in 463 deaths from the disease
Coronavirus patients lie face down, hooked up to machines and cared for by medics in full protective suits in Italy – where a doctor likens the deadly outbreak to war.
Another 97 people were killed by the virus there yesterday, bringing the death toll to 463 as the number infected jumped to 9,172.
The whole country will today be locked down as the quarantine of 16 million people in the north is extended to the whole of Italy.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said movement will be restricted throughout the country and that people should not travel except for work and emergencies.
All public gatherings there were banned and sport at all levels suspended until at least April, including Serie A matches.
There were warnings it could be a taste of things to come in Britain.
Francois Balloux of the University College London Genetics Institute said: “The trajectory in the UK is so far roughly comparable to the one in northern Italy, but with the epidemic [there] two to three weeks ahead of the situation [here].
“It is possible that a lockdown strategy similar to the one imposed in northern Italy may be adopted by the UK. The Covid-19 epidemic cannot be contained any more.”
Doctor-turned-author Adam Kay said it should be a stark warning for Britain. He said: “Fourteen days ago, Italy had fewer coronavirus cases than we do today. They employed similar public health measures to us.