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Corona virus: "Red zone" extended by "orange zone"

Applied to German conditions, the Italian move would demographically correspond to the closure of North Rhine-Westphalia, while the economic dimensions would be equivalent to the isolation of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

16 million. That is the number of the day. Just a week ago, the “red zone” in Italy extended to eleven municipalities, ten of them in the Lombardy province of Lodi, southeast of Milan. The requirement isolates entire regions from the outside world in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus. There have been increasing signs in the past few days that this could be expanded. There should be some municipalities in the particularly affected province of Bergamo. Some speculated that communities from the neighboring province of Brescia could be added. But since last night it has been known that the whole of Lombardy is being sealed off.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a decree yesterday evening that the region with 10 million inhabitants should be increasingly isolated. Attilio Fontana, the President of Lombardy, thought it would be “unimaginable” when the first zone was set up to shut off the metropolis of Milan. Today it is clear: not only Milan, not only Lombardy, but also other provinces throughout northern Italy. The Italian Republic stands out in the demographic and economic heart of the country. With its companies, the stock exchange and its global network, Milan is the real capital of Italy.

The cut will not have been easy for politics. Applied to German conditions, the case would demographically correspond to a closure of North Rhine-Westphalia, while the economic dimensions would be equivalent to the isolation of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. The decree affects not only Lombardy, but also provinces outside of it. In Emilia-Romagna these are Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio-Emilia and Rimini; in Veneto Padua, Treviso and Venice; in Piedmont Asti, Alessandria, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and Vercelli; in the Pesaro-Urbino brands. They are all important centers of the country, in the case of Venice one of the great cultural and tourist attractions in Italy is affected.

The requirements are draconian. According to the decree, no one is allowed to enter or leave these territories - except for emergencies or transits authorized by the provincial prefect. Anyone in quarantine has an absolute ban on mobility. People who show flu symptoms and have a fever above 37.5 degrees are encouraged not to leave the house and to keep their social contacts to a minimum. All schools of all kinds, sports halls, swimming pools and other sports facilities are closed; the same applies to cultural institutions such as theaters, cinemas and the like. Any event of any type will be canceled. The bar and restaurants are closed at 6 p.m., restaurateurs should ensure that there is a minimum distance between guests. Religious services are also largely stopped, masses, marriages and funerals have already been canceled. The decree is valid from March 8th to April 3rd.

National restrictions also apply outside the new zone in northern Italy. Nationwide, schools will be closed until March 15th. The closure of all cultural institutions such as museums, cinemas etc. is also up for discussion here. Pubs and discos are closed; Restaurants and bars may remain open if distances between visitors are ensured accordingly. The courts remain closed for two weeks.

 Already on Saturday evening there was a storm on the trains at the Milan Central Station to leave the city at the last moment. Conte described the situation as a "national emergency". The coronavirus had been fought with "maximum precautionary measures" right from the start. Contrary to rumors, flights and trains would not be stopped, but the trips should have important reasons. That is why the new zone is not called the "red zone" but the "orange zone".

The fact that the Italian government is taking rigorous measures is due to the explosion in the number of cases of infection. The number was 590 new infections on March 5, 620 on March 6 and even 1,145 on March 7. As of March 7, 6 p.m., Italy had 5,883 officially confirmed Corona cases. 589 people have been cured and 233 have died. Lombardy has the largest number of Corona cases with 3,420 infected, followed by Emilia-Romagna with 1,010. Meanwhile, each of the 20 regions in Italy is affected.

The concern is that the health system could reach its limits. Patients in the Lombard intensive care units who are not affected by COVID-19 should be relocated to the neighboring region. "If the population does not understand that they should stay at home, they will experience a catastrophic situation," said Antonio Pesenti, the coordinator of the crisis unit in Lombardy for intensive care. “We are currently forced to conduct therapies in the corridor, operating theaters and recovery rooms. One of the best healthcare systems in the world, the Lombard one, is just one step before the collapse. ”If the situation did not improve, it would require ten times more intensive care units than would be available. It would currently take 8 minutes for the ambulance to reach its destination, but the events of the past few days could cause it to take an hour. That would be a death sentence for many people if they have a heart attack, for example.

There are tones that appear like hysteria in the face of German sensitivities in politics and the media. While the argument is often made that the flu kills more people than the coronavirus, a Cremones doctor replied in a TV documentary that it is unusual to get 100 pneumonia in a week. A professor noted in the same program of "Piazza Pulita" that he had never experienced such a situation before, and recalled the historical epidemics, in which there was a complete rejection of the existence of the problem before going through several phases actual acceptance and knowledge of the disaster.
Alessandro Manzoni described something similar in his “Promessi sposi” when the plague broke out in Milan in 1630:

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