Italy has placed up to 16 million people under quarantine as it battles to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Anyone living in Lombardy and 14 other central and northern provinces will need special permission to travel. Milan and Venice are both affected.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also announced the closure of schools, gyms, museums, nightclubs and other venues across the whole country.
The measures, the most radical taken outside China, will last until 3 April.
Italy has seen the largest number of coronavirus cases in Europe and reported a steep rise in infections on Saturday. The strict new quarantine measures affect a quarter of the Italian population and centre on the northern part of the country that powers its economy.
The death toll in Italy has passed 230, with officials reporting more than 36 deaths in 24 hours. The number of confirmed cases jumped by more than 1,200 to 5,883 on Saturday.
“We want to guarantee the health of our citizens. We understand that these measures will impose sacrifices, sometimes small and sometimes very big,” Mr Conte said early on Sunday.
Under the new measures, people are not supposed to be able to enter or leave the whole northern region of Lombardy, home to 10 million people, except for emergency access. Milan is the main city in the region.
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.”
However transport in and out of the regions affected continues. At least seven flights from other European cities arrived at Milan’s Malpensa airport on Sunday morning according to flight tracking websites.
COVID-19 Patient Allegedly Raped By Ambulance Driver En Route Hospital
A woman who tested positive for Covid-19 was allegedly raped by an ambulance driver while being taken to hospital on Saturday night in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district, police said.
Pathanamthitta district police superintendent K G Simon said the ambulance driver, Noufal, was taken into custody and his arrest was recorded. The driver, who hailed from Alappuzha district, was part of the the state health department’s “108 ambulance service” . The police said he is also an accused in an attempt to murder case registered in 2019.
The SP said Noufal took the ambulance to a deserted ground on the way to the hospital and raped the woman. On reaching the hospital, the woman narrated the incident to the hospital staff who informed the police.
Police have recorded the statement of the victim. She was given special counselling at the covid hosptial where she is being treated.
FRESH: Many Dead, Injured As Major Explosion Rocks Lebanon
A massive explosion on Tuesday rocked downtown Beirut, destroying much of the port, damaging buildings and blowing out windows and doors as a giant smoke rose above the capital.
According to Associated Press, a Lebanese Red Cross official said many were dead and wounded but did not state exact figure.
The footage trending on social media showed hundreds of casualties.
It showed a fire raging at the port, sending up a giant column of smoke, illuminated by flashes of what appear to be fireworks.
Meanwhile, the cause of the blast is yet to be known as at the time of report.
BREAKING: Brazilian President Again Tests Positive For COVID-19
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has again tested positive for COVID-19, the country’s Communications Ministry said on Wednesday.
The 65-year-old is in good health, the ministry told dpa by email.
“Bolsonaro has no fever and his breathing, heartbeat and blood pressure are normal,’’ CNN Brazil reported.
The positive test result was at least the third for the far-right populist president, who for months downplayed the severity of the pandemic and still advocates keeping the economy open.
Bolsonaro is currently working from his residence. Several of his ministers have also been diagnosed with COVID-19.
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