Italian authorities on Sunday locked down the entire northern region which has a population of 16 million to check the spread of coronavirus.
The death of the disease rose from 233 on Saturday to 366 on Sunday. According to the country’s civil protection agency, the total number of infections also moved up from 5, 883 to 7,375.
Officials were quoted as saying it was by far the largest daily rise in fatalities since the outbreak hit the country. Salvatore Farina, the country’s chief of army staff, is among the latest people to test positive for the virus.
Italy has the highest number of confirmed infections outside China, where the disease broke out in December.
To further curb the spread of the virus, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a decree placing travel restrictions on the entire Lombardy region and 14 other provinces.
Locations affected by the lockdown include Milan, the financial hub of the country, and Venice. Schools, gyms, nightclubs have been closed while sports events, civil and religious activities have all been cancelled.
People who do not adhere to the restrictions, which will last till April 3, will reportedly face up to three months in prison and a fine of 206 euros ($232).
“There will be an obligation to avoid any movement of people,” Conte said
“And even within the areas, moving around will occur only for essential work or health reasons. “We understand that these measures will impose sacrifices, sometimes small and sometimes very big. But this is a time where we must take responsibility. … We need to understand that all of us need to adhere to the measures.”