Italians are being told to stay inside unless they need to buy medicines by health authorities patrolling neighborhoods with loudspeakers as the coronavirus quarantine begins to take hold.

With 60 million people having their movements restricted, the video has a somewhat post-apocalytpic feel as Italians are told, “Please stay at home & go outside only when you need to buy medicines or see doctors. Please follow our rules & wear face masks.”

The fact that the clip was posted by the Global Times, an official mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party is somewhat ironic.

However, Italy may need to mimic Beijing’s draconian response to the virus in order to get it under control.

Latest figures show there have been 9,172 cases and 463 deaths across the country as travel is highly restricted and all public gatherings forbidden.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping says the “tide has turned” as Beijing recorded only 17 new cases of coronavirus in Wuhan on Tuesday, the lowest figure since it began publishing data.

According to one expert, the “outbreak has basically ended in China,” while new cases in Singapore and South Korea are also on the decline.

Italy is far from being able to say it’s in a similar position, with more than a thousand new coronavirus cases being reported in each of the last three days.


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