Italian health authorities have reported over one million confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country as of Wednesday, November 11. In the previous 24 hours, 32,961 new COVID-19 cases were reported as well as 623 additional fatalities, bringing the total number of cases in the country since the beginning of the pandemic to 1,028,424 with 42,953 associated deaths.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte previously imposed a 22:00-05:00 (local time) nightly nationwide curfew from Thursday, November 5. Residents are required to stay home except for work or health reasons, as authorities look to stem the spread of the virus.
Authorities have also announced that from Friday, November 6, regions in the country will be classified as red (highest risk), orange, or yellow, based on the severity of COVID-19 in those regions, and the severity will determine the measures in place. Lombardy, Calabria, Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta are red zones, Puglia, Sicily are considered yellow risk areas, and Abruzzo, Basilicata, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Marche, Molise, Sardinia, Tuscany, Umbria, Veneto, and the provinces of Trento and Bolzano are considered to be the lowest risk areas. People in the highest-risk zones are being told to stay within their area, and are only allowed to leave for work, study, health, or other essential reasons.
As a result of the ever-increasing cases, authorities have announced that new restrictions have begun nationwide with the mandatory closure of cinemas, swimming pools, and gyms with bars and restaurants only permitted to open until 18:00. Most other shops and businesses may continue operating. The majority of secondary school classes are to be taught online under the new restrictions. People are encouraged to remain at home and to limit mixing with other households.
A state of emergency in Italy has been extended until January 31, 2021, and face masks are compulsory outdoors and in enclosed public spaces between 18:00 and 06:00. Travel restrictions remain in place, with arrivals permitted from some countries and restrictions vary based on the infection rates in these countries. A full list of restrictions can be found here.
Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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