Authorities announce restrictions in Lombardy and Veneto regions, Italy as of Feb. 23 to prevent spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
Severity: Warning Alert
This alert began 23 Feb 2020 03:47 GMT and is scheduled to expire 26 Feb 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Preventive restrictions
- Location(s): Lombardy, Veneto regions (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Heightened security, transport and business disruptions; possible health screenings, shipping delays
Authorities have announced restrictions in Lombardy and Veneto regions in Italy after a recent increase in COVID-19 cases, as well as the death of two individuals. As of early Feb. 23, officials reported at least 79 COVID-19 cases. Authorities have placed entry and exit restrictions in several areas of Lodi Province, Lombardy, particularly in Casalpusterlengo, Codogno, Castiglione d'Adda, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo, and San Fiorano. Officials have banned public activities, including masses and sporting events, and urged the public to stay indoors. Schools and government offices in the areas reportedly remain closed following the outbreak. In Veneto Region, officials announced that Vo' Euganeo, would also face similar measures. Authorities also suspended Feb. 23 football matches Atalanta vs. Sassuolo, Verona vs. Cagliari, and Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria.
Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.
Older individuals, infants, and those with chronic illness are more susceptible to infection and are at increased risk for severe complications. Human-to-human transmission can occur, though it remains unclear how easily the virus spreads between people. Preliminary investigations indicate the course of illness is not as severe as seasonal influenza, nor as contagious.
Follow all official instructions. Carry proper identification documents to present at security checks. Heed all official advisories and remain nonconfrontational if stopped by authorities. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays and possibly result in quarantine. Carry proper identification documents to present at security checks. Shipping disruptions may occur; consider delaying or rerouting shipments.
Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.