Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed legislation overnight banning people from leaving or entering Lombardy and other provinces in the north of the country.
It effectively quarantines 16 million Italians in an attempt to curb the rapid spread of the dreaded new coronavirus.
This unprecedented move by the Italian government remains in effect until at least April 3.
The same restrictions apply to 14 provinces: Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Pesaro and Urbino, Alessandria, Asti, Novara, Verbano Cusio Ossola, Vercelli, Padua, Treviso and Venice.
“There will be no movement in or out of these areas, or within them, unless for proven, work-related reasons emergencies or health reasons,” Mr Conte told reporters.
“We are facing an emergency, a national emergency. We have to limit the spread of the virus and prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed.”BBC reported
There are 106,442 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus disease around the world on Sunday morning, including three cases in South Africa.
3,594 people have already died of the virus.