Italy’s government is taking no chances when it comes to the coronavirus spreading throughout the country. Currently, Italy is in its fourth day of a mandated nationwide lockdown instituted by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte effective beginning Tuesday of this week through April 3rd. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told the BBC that 15,113 Italians have been infected and at least 1,016 people have died. To put the numbers into perspective, Italy’s death toll from the virus has more than doubled since the reported 463 deaths on Monday earlier this week.
Di Maio is hopeful that although “Italy was the first nation in Europe to be affected so badly” the result will be that “Italy is the first one to leave the emergency behind.” Di Maio says the lockdown measures have proven effective and the “huge majority of citizens are respecting the rules. Those who aren’t will face sanctions: either fines or criminal charges.”
The European Union does not seem to have any qualms with Italy taking precautionary or even criminal measures with its citizens. However, when it came to President Trump announcing a 30-day travel ban earlier this week, canceling flights from Europe to the United States, European Union leaders rebelled. Leaders declared President Trump had made his decision “unilaterally and without consultation.”
Although Trump’s travel ban does not apply to the United Kingdom, where it does apply certainly is defense enough for Trump’s actions, EU approval or not. “Scotland banned gatherings of more than 500 people…Ireland closed all schools, colleges, childcare facilities, and cultural institutions, in addition to banning indoor gatherings of more than 100 people” reports Fox News.
Fox News also reported that “In continental Europe, where the U.S. travel ban applies, France and Spain both saw a notable spike in cases Thursday morning. France recorded at least 2,269 cases, up 27.9 percent from 1,774 cases Wednesday. Spain recorded at least 2,140 cases, a 30 percent increase from its 1,630 cases Wednesday.” With percentages increasing by double digits daily, could criminalization be the next worldwide epidemic?