Italy currently has the second-largest outbreak of the virus, with over 12,400 confirmed cases

By Joelle Goldstein
March 11, 2020 06:05 PM
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Italy is canceling several major events in the lives of its residents as the nation’s number of coronavirus outbreaks continue to rise — and other countries may be following suit.

On Monday evening, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte issued an updated decree to his nation’s residents, urging them to “stay at your home” and “limit social contacts as much as possible” in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

The official order comes as Italy marks its 12,462nd confirmed case and 827th death of the coronavirus — the second-largest number of outbreaks in the world behind Mainland China, according to The New York Times.

Part of the mandate stated that civil and religious ceremonies would be suspended, including funerals. Places of worship, however, would continue to remain open as long as people remained 1 meter (3.2 feet) away from each other.

People in Italy
| Credit: Alessandro Serrano'/AGF/Shutterstock

Other regulations included traveling only for “urgent, verifiable work situations and emergencies or health reasons,” keeping restaurant and bar activities limited to 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with proper distance between attendees, putting employees who work at public and private companies on leave, and forbidding health personnel from taking holidays.

Museums and other city institutes, gyms, sports centers, sporting competitions, schools and universities, spas, cinemas, theaters, dance schools and betting rooms have also all been closed or suspended.

The decree is expected to last until at least April 3, according to CNBC.

Two days after the Italian government issued a lockdown, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.

People in New York
| Credit: Eduardo Munoz / VIEWpress via Getty

Officials made the announcement on Wednesday, urging world leaders and citizens to take action to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general, at a press conference in Geneva. “It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.”

“There’s been so much attention on one word,” he said. “Let me give you some other words that matter much more, and that are much more actionable: Prevention. Preparedness. Public health. Political leadership. And most of all, people.”

Worldwide, there are now more than 124,900 confirmed cases of coronavirus and at least 4,592 deaths, according to The New York Times.

In the United States, 1,107 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been recorded and 32 people have died, mostly in Washington state. The majority of U.S. cases are in Washington state, California and New York, and all three have declared a state of emergency to redirect funding.