Italy has placed an estimated 16 million people under quarantine in the Lombardy region and 14 other northern provinces in an attempt to contain the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Anyone living within the affected areas will need special permission to travel, as Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stated that "There will be no movement in or out of these areas, or within them, unless for proven work-related reasons, emergencies or health reasons". Weddings, funerals, cultural, and religious events have been suspended while movie theatres, nightclubs, museums, ski resorts, gyms, swimming pools, and more have been closed. Although restaurants within the affects areas are still permitted to open for business between 06:00 and 18:00 local time, customers must sit at least a meter (3 feet) apart. Residents have been recommended to stay home as much as possible, and those breaking quarantine could face up to 3 months of jail time alongside fines.
As of now, there are at least 5,883 confirmed cases within the nation while the death toll has exceeded 230. The 14 affected provinces (in alphabetical order) are: Alessandria, Asti, Modena, Novara, Parma, Padua, Pesaro and Urbino, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Trevino and Venice, Verbano Cusio Ossala, and Vercelli. The quarantine will last until April 3rd, 2020.
In other developments, there are about 105,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 alongside about 3,600 deaths globally. Though most of the cases and deaths were reported in China, local media suggests that the infections are slowing down. Meanwhile, Iran has reported nearly 6,000 cases while South Korea reported over 7,300 cases.