Coronavirus Italy: Prime Minister Conte set to extend lockdown as COVID-19 deaths grow | World | News

The coronavirus pandemic forced Italy to order a partial lockdown last week in a desperate attempt to slow down the spread of the deadly virus. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte rolled out a series of measures urging people to stay home as much as possible and practice social distancing to avoid contagion. But after Italy recorded its highest number of deaths in one day, Mr Conte is now expected to extend the security quarantine past the original April 3 deadline.

Speaking to national newspaper Il Corriere della Sera, the Italian Prime Minister hinted at a postponement well into April.

Mr Conte said: “We’re moving toward an extension of the total bloc imposed until April 3.

“The lockdown of shops, as well as schools and universities, can only be extended to a date yet to be set.”

Latest reports from the Italian Civil Protection service reported 475 people have died across Italy on Wednesday after testing positive to coronavirus.

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The number of deaths forced the Italian Army to deploy to Bergamo in Lombardy, the Italian region most hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to move out the bodies of the victims to neighbouring crematoriums after the local facilities became overwhelmed.

Bergamo has recorded at least 93 coronavirus-related deaths as the number of cases continues to sky-rocket every day.

The mayor of Bergamo, Giorgio Gori, said the true number of deaths attributable to COVID-19 could be much higher as many people with symptoms died before being tested.

A spokesperson for the local authority said: “The crematorium of Bergamo, working at full capacity, 24 hours a day, can cremate 25 dead.

“It is clear that it could not stand up to the numbers of the past few days.”

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“This situation is bad, but I think what’s worse is seeing the rest of the world behaving as if it isn’t going to happen to them. We know what you’re thinking because we were in your place too.”

But many were quick to criticise the thread of tweets, accusing Mr Yanowitz of stirring up fear and potentially amplifying the issues of stockpiling and panic buying.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) urged the international community to focus heavily on testing individuals for the virus in order to stop it from spreading.

WHO officials have said they want to see programs rolled out similar to that in Vò which include repeat testing for everyone regardless of whether they are showing symptoms.

This approach would lead to the isolation of asymptomatic carriers of Covid-19 who would otherwise not have known they are infected and possibly spread the sickness to others.

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