Italy has ordered all non-essential shops to close — leaving only supermarkets and pharmacies open — as the coronavirus death toll in the country surged by more than 30 percent in a single day.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced Wednesday evening that bars, restaurants and beauty salons are among the businesses ordered to shut in the country — the hardest hit outside China, CNBC reported.
Public services will remain in place, and industrial production will go on, provided companies adopt safety measures and prevent further contagion, Conte said.
“At this moment the whole world is certainly looking at us for the numbers of the contagion,” he said in a Facebook address. “They see a country that is in difficulty, but they also appreciate us because we are showing great strictness and great resistance.”
“I have a deep conviction. I would like to share it with you,” the prime minister declared. “Tomorrow not only will they look at us again and admire us, but they will take us as a positive example of a country that, thanks to its sense of community, has managed to win its battle against this pandemic.”
Just a day earlier, the death toll stood at 631.
Earlier Wednesday, Conte announced that the government would put 25 billion euros — about $28 billion — toward battling the outbreak, up from 7.5 billion euros announced last week, CNBC reported.
Northern Italy’s Lombardy and Veneto regions are the most heavily hit from the outbreak. The World Health Organization recognized the rapidly spreading infection as a pandemic Wednesday.