Italy stops “non-essential” productive activity

A small supermarket in Turin, Italy, opened on March 21.
A small supermarket in Turin, Italy, opened on March 21. MARCO ALPOZZI / AP

The coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage theItaly where it killed, Saturday March 21, nearly 800 dead in 24 hours, for a total of 4,825 deaths. In response, the government ordered in the evening to halt all production activity other than that “Strictly necessary, crucial, essential to guarantee goods and services”.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte nevertheless assured that grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open, without detailing the list of activities ” indispensable “. “We are going to slow down the country’s productive engine but we are not going to stop it”, he promised.

The head of spanish governmentPedro Sanchez said on Saturday that he would do whatever it takes to fight the coronavirus, warning that “The worst is yet to come”, while the toll of the epidemic has worsened in the country has more than 1,300 deaths and nearly 25,000 cases of contamination. Spain is the second country in Europe most affected by the epidemic.

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  • New containment measures

The global death toll exceeded 12,000 dead on Saturday. And more than 900 million people in about 35 countries were expected to stay at home, according to a database maintained by Agence France-Presse (AFP). This is particularly the case in Rwanda, where the government decreed on Saturday the containment of the population and the closing of borders, one of the most draconian measures adopted to date in sub-Saharan Africa.

The British government asked the 1.5 million people living in England the most vulnerable, identified by the NHS (public health service), to remain confined for three months on Sunday. It is people over the age of 65 or suffering from chronic illnesses who should stay at home, especially Turkey, since midnight Saturday.

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After Venezuela – the first Latin American country to declare general containment as of March 17 – and Argentina confined for more than 24 hours, the Bolivia will be in compulsory quarantine from Sunday, followed from Tuesday by the Colombia.

The Romanian government has closed its borders. It thus prohibits the access to its territory to the majority of the foreigners “Through any entry point”. Interior Minister Marcel Vela added, however, that exceptions could be made for those wishing to transit through Romanian territory, using corridors to be defined with neighboring countries.

For its part, the Qatar decided to strengthen its “Precautionary measures” prohibiting “Any form of gathering” in public places, including the ledge, parks or public beaches.

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  • Curfews in force

In Libya, the Government of National Unity (GNA) has implemented a night curfew and the closure of public places. At Kuwait, the government has imposed a “Partial curfew”, from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m., every day from Sunday, “All over the territory”. The country, which has registered 176 cases, has taken the most drastic measures of all the Gulf States.

  • New cases identified

The first two cases of coronavirus were identified in the Gaza strip, the ministry of health in the Palestinian enclave announced on Sunday.

Angola, Uganda and Eritrea also confirmed initial cases of contamination, when a first death linked to the epidemic was reported in Mauritania, as the virus spreads across Africa.

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  • Postponed presidential election

The epidemic is also impacting the electoral calendar. The presidential election, scheduled for May 3, in Bolivia has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus epidemic, the Supreme Electoral Court announced on Saturday.

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It stipulates, in a press release, to want to implement a “Broad and pluralistic dialogue with all political organizations” so that “Set a new date” for the ballot. Bolivians were called to the polls on May 3 to elect a successor to resigning president Evo Morales.

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The World with AFP and Reuters

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