As the quarantine begins across the Italian north on Sunday, virology experts at the WHO, CDC and at universities around the world are waiting to see if Rome’s crackdown – coming a little too late, as many have pointed out, given the last two days’ worth of massive increases in the national case total – will work.
With the rules in place until April 3, Bloomberg points out, whether the public and local police and officials go along with the orders will ultimately determine whether they are successful or not.
Italians have become inured to alarming news over the past month as the outbreak has spiraled out of control in Lombardy. But following a flurry of uncontrolled leaks warning about an imminent lockdown as part of the government’s planned emergency decree, restaurants and bars started emptying out and many fled to the train station, where they hopped trains to get out of the region, especially those who had plans to travel elsewhere that were being interrupted by the lockdown.
According to an SCMP reporter in Padua, packed bars and restaurants quickly emptied out as news of a coming lockdown hit, as many people rushed to the railway station. Travellers with suitcases, wearing face masks, gloves and carrying bottles of sanitising gel shoved their way on to the local train.