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A Nation On Lockdown: Italy Battles The Coronavirus

Inmates stage a protest on a rooftop of a wing at the San Vittore prison in Milan in one of Italy's quarantine red zones. Inmates in four Italian prisons have revolted over new rules introduced to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
Inmates stage a protest on a rooftop of a wing at the San Vittore prison in Milan in one of Italy's quarantine red zones. Inmates in four Italian prisons have revolted over new rules introduced to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Italy is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe. And on Monday, the Italian government put the entire country on lockdown. This expands on measures taken over the weekend when roughly 16 million people were placed under quarantine to try and contain the outbreak from spreading further. According to the recent official figures, nearly 1,900 more cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Italy the past 24 hours; and nearly 100 more patients have died.

Writing for The Atlantic, reporter Rachel DeNadio says the world is watching how Italy handles an epidemic that knows no borders.

Italy has long been a political laboratory, for better or worse, and a harbinger of developments that later spread. It’s also a rule-bound country where rules are often ignored, a place that often falls short on long-term planning but rises to the occasion in emergencies and has a knack for improvisation that its northern neighbors lack. It is a free society in which information is often unreliable and politicized. Today, it is an experiment in which free movement of people and goods meets free movement of a deadly virus. Countries across Europe and the world are watching how Italy handles an epidemic that knows no borders, has been putting tremendous strain on public-health structures, and is pushing the country’s already fragile economy to the brink.

Could coronavirus push the country’s already fragile economy to the brink?

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.


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