Coronavirus: Italy in ‘massive shock therapy’ pledge to offset virus impact

Two people sit in a cafe on a virtually deserted San Marco Square in Venice, Italy. Photo: 8 March 2020 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Many streets in Venice were virtually deserted over the weekend

Italy’s government has pledged to further increase spending in a “massive shock therapy” to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The country is struggling to adapt to the most restrictive measures since World War Two, introduced on Sunday.

Up to 16 million people in Lombardy and 14 provinces need special permission to travel under new quarantine rules.

Italy it the world’s worst-hit country after China with 366 deaths now confirmed in the European nation.

All of Italy’s 20 regions have confirmed cases, and the total number of infections now stands at 6,387.

How is the government responding?

On Monday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the government would pump more money to mitigate the impact of the outbreak.

He also said Italy would overcome the virus if people followed the rules, adding that the sacrifices required were for the good of all.

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Media captionMilan quarantine resident: “It’s really important to be responsible in this moment”

Separately, Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said “the government will spare no effort to ensure that a package of measures is agreed at the EU level in co-ordination with the whole international community”.

On Monday morning, the main share index in Milan, the industrial powerhouse at the heart of the worst affected area, opened down more than 8%.

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