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Italy is on total lockdown

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte puts entire country on lockdown, ordering people to stay at home and to ask permission for only essential travel

Italy has implemented extreme emergency coronavirus measures. These include travel restrictions and a ban on public gatherings in the entire country, as it becomes the worst nation hit by the virus after China.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has ordered people to stay at home and ask permission for only essential travel. He says the measures are designed to protect the most vulnerable.

Italy's coronavirus death toll jumped from 366 to 463 on Monday, March 9, and the number of those infected also increased by 24 per cent from Sunday,

Deaths in Milan’s Lombardy region, which had already been on lockdown with cinemas, theatres and museums shut and restaurant hours restricted, jumped 25 per cent in a day to 333.

More than 9,000 people have become infected in Italy in just over two weeks, out of a global total of more than 113,000 in more than 100 countries. Nearly 4,000 people have died globally, with the majority being in mainland China.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in all 20 Italian regions.

The virus is taking a toll on global economy with flights being cancelled, communities and cruise liners isolated, and concerts and trade fairs postponed around the world.

Norwegian is the latest airline to temporarily halt flights to and from Italy because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Qantas also says it will cut its international capacity by nearly 25 per cent over the next six months. It is also delaying an order for Airbus A350 planes in response to a fall in passenger demand due to the coronavirus.

The Australian airline also said it is cancelling plans for a A$150m ($98.73 million) off-market share buyback to preserve cash.

Elsewhere, in Spain schools have closed across the Madrid region and the Basque capital Vitoria for two weeks as cases topped 1,200 nationwide. And everyone arriving in Israel will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Japan also unveiled a second package of measures worth about $4bn in spending to deal with the virus, focusing on support to small- and mid-sized firms. To help fund the package, the government will tap the rest of this fiscal year’s budget reserve of about ¥270bn, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

FURTHER READING: US is confident coronavirus won't impact China trade deal

FURTHER READING: Covid-19 update: IMF makes $50bn available to fight the outbreak, while Flybe collapses

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