On Saturday, Giuseppe Conte, Italy’s Prime Minister, ordered the lockdown of the country’s northern province of Lombardy and 14 municipalities outside Lombardy, in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus, according to the newspaper Corriere della Sera.
These Italian red zones, which contain a combined population of around 15 million people, will remain in lockdown until 3 April 2020. Across Italy, schools are closed and bars and restaurants can only open between 6am and 6pm and must ensure customers stay one metre apart.
Lombardy is the worst affected region in Italy. 113 people died there in 24 hours, bringing Italy’s death toll from the virus to 366, according to the newspaper.
More than half of Switzerland’s southern frontier borders on the Italian red zone.
After meeting with Italy’s foreign minister, Switzerland’s Federal Council decided to keep the border between Italy’s red zones and Switzerland open to cross-border workers, according to a government press release. Although residents of Switzerland are asked not to cross into Italy. One factor in the decision to allow in cross-border workers appears to be related to hospital staffing, according to the press release.
- Coronavirus: map of Swiss cases by canton (Le News)
- Swiss coronavirus tests now partly covered by health insurance (Le News)
Some people have been calling on the Swiss government to control the country’s borders and to request residents arriving from affected regions to self quarantine for 14 days whether they have symptoms or not.
If the number of infections in Switzerland rises at the current rate of 53 new cases per day, Switzerland could surpass the infection rate (cases / population) in China as early as Wednesday. At this point Switzerland could become an “affected region” and those travelling from Switzerland might face quarantine requirements on arrival.
Government press release (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now
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it’s a very difficult situation, I think it’s a new type of war. The chemical warfare is easier than the classic warfare.
I think it is a huge mistake by allowing the boarders remaining open. If the reason is related to hospital staffing, then the risk is even higher. Because one sick hospital staff can infect so many health patients, plus the infected hospital will be out of service!!!