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Italy to extend coronavirus lockdown until Easter as new cases fall

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Italy to extend coronavirus lockdown until Easter as new cases fall

By Crispian Balmer and Angelo Amante

 

2020-03-31T001607Z_2_LYNXMPEG2T284_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-ITALY.JPG

Relatives attend a burial ceremony of victims of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the southern town of Cisternino, Italy March 30, 2020. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

 

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's government on Monday said it would extend its nationwide lockdown measures against a coronavirus outbreak, due to end on Friday, at least until the Easter season in April, as the number of new infections declines.

 

"The evaluation was to extend all containment measures at least until Easter. The government will move in this direction," Health Minister Roberto Speranza said in a statement after a meeting of a scientific committee advising the government.

 

The Health Ministry did not give a date for the new end of the lockdown, but said it would be in a law the government would propose. Easter Sunday is April 12 this year. Italy is predominantly Roman Catholic and contains the Vatican, the heart of the church.

 

Italians have been under lockdown for three weeks, with most shops, bars and restaurants shut and people forbidden from leaving their homes for all but non-essential needs.

 

Italy, which is the world's hardest hit country in terms of number of deaths and accounts for more than a third of all global fatalities, saw its total death tally rise to 11,591 since the outbreak emerged in northern regions on Feb. 21.

 

The death toll has risen by 812 in the last 24 hours, the Civil Protection Agency said, reversing two days of declines, although the number of new cases rose by just 4,050, the lowest increase since March 17, reaching a total of 101,739.

 

However, the decline in the rise of new infections may be partly explained by a reduction in the number of tests, which were the fewest for six days.

The governor of the southern region of Puglia said on Saturday the restrictions should remain in place until May.

 

Underscoring the dangers of the disease, the national doctors' association announced the deaths of 11 more doctors on Monday, bringing the total to 61.

 

Not all of them had been tested for coronavirus before they died, it said, but it linked their deaths to the pandemic.

 

Lombardy, which contains Italy's financial capital Milan, accounts for almost 60% of the total deaths in Italy and some 40% of cases.

 

Lombardy President Attilio Fontana said the unprecedented curbs on movement, gatherings and business activity were preventing an exponential rise in the number of cases, and needed to be kept in place.

 

"We're on the right track, we're maintaining a (chart) line that's not uphill, but it's not downhill either," he said.

 

The head of the national health institute, Silvio Brusaferro, who is advising the government on how to handle the crisis, also said that for restrictions to be eased "the number of new cases has to fall significantly."

 

"For sure the re-opening will happen gradually ... we are even considering the British idea of 'stop and go', which envisages opening things for a certain amount of time and then closing them again," he told the daily La Repubblica.

 

For a graphic on Tracking the spread of the global coronavirus:

https://graphics.reuters.com/CHINA-HEALTH-MAP/0100B59S39E/index.html 

 

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; additional reporting by Gavin Jones in Rome and Elisa Anzolin in Milan; editing by Nick Macfie, Grant McCool and Jonathan Oatis)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-03-31

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All this paranoia is really scary for me, the virus is not more dangerous than other viruses we know, in which direction are we moving? Who is the architect of this worldwide panic?

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1 hour ago, 30la said:

All this paranoia is really scary for me, the virus is not more dangerous than other viruses we know, in which direction are we moving? Who is the architect of this worldwide panic?

wait til the final death total is in before you say, the virus is not more dangerous than other viruses we know, then you will be believed

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Posted (edited)

Really, not more dangerous than others? Hmm, let's see. First, it can kill, I mean as in "licensed to kill" or "748 deaths in the last 24 hrs" (of whatever day of the last couple of months.) Second, it's hard to kill, like really hard to kill. It takes at least 20 sec of vigorous hand washing. With soap. It can survive for a period of minutes or hours if not days on door knobs, hand rails, elevator buttons, on utensils that you use to eat with, etc. One good thing that it has neither legs nor wings to get around, to which we unknowingly are of great assistance to our detriment... Okay, tell me which other viruses that kill and that can survive that well among the human race, then I'll believe that it's "not more dangerous than other viruses that we know."

 

In the meantime lemme recommend a little book, "The art of war" by Lao tzu, written sometime uh, let's say in the middle kingdom (of China, not the Hobbit), in which this one virtue is often touted, and to be proven by generations after generations: "Never underestimate your enemy."

 

One final thought, take a long look at that picture, it could be the poster for an horror movie... Which other viruses have the capabilities to transform our neighbors, loved ones, co-workers to a potential grim reaper? and to make the dying alone in their death bed, say goodbye to their family via facetime?

 

 

Edited by watthong
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23 hours ago, steve187 said:

wait til the final death total is in before you say, the virus is not more dangerous than other viruses we k3now, then you will be believed

Extremely old people and people with pre-existing conditions are always one step away from death with or without the coronovirus, it's your choice to be a fatty diabetic, often anyway. Darwin's natural selection. Nature needs no human interpretation. It has its way of taking care of unnecessary weeds. Let's hope it takes care of some of the cruel weeds, rather than the kind old weeds, those who caused the death of innocents in Syria, Yemen etc. Hopefully what goes around, comes around, divine karmic justice. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/31/2020 at 5:17 PM, steve187 said:

wait til the final death total is in before you say, the virus is not more dangerous than other viruses we know, then you will be believed

Could it be that humans have made the problem by becoming too old, and indulged too much making too many people with heart disease and diabetes. Th I perhaps the heart of the problem, a world of many very unhealthy people that we have never seen before makes the virus very dangerous. 

Edited by Langkawee

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, Langkawee said:

 

 

Edited by Langkawee

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