Total confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Italy has reached nearly 80, making it the most affected European country since the disease first broke out in December last year. According to reports, Italy confirmed its second death on February 22 after a woman from the northern region of Lombardy died of the virus. On February 21, a 78-year-old man died in Italy, making him the first European to die of the disease. Italian government closed off two most affected regions in the country, Lombardy and Veneto, due to the spread of the virus in the country.
According to reports, schools and universities were closed in Lombardy and Veneto following the outbreak in the regions, while sports events, including three top league football games, had to be called off. Major companies like Luxottica and UniCredit have told employees living in the affected areas to stay at home. Meanwhile, at Italy's civil protection agency's headquarters, an emergency decree was passed to adopt special powers to be able to prevent people from leaving or entering the impacted zones. As per reports, Lombardy and Veneto is Italy's industrial heartland as they jointly account for 30 per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) output.
The new coronavirus also known as COVID-19 has claimed more than 2,400 lives in China alone and has infected more than 79,000 people globally since December 2019. According to reports, 19 people have died outside mainland China, which makes it the worst disease outbreak in the 21st century. Coronavirus has claimed more lives than its predecessor Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). According to reports, SARS, which broke out in China in 2002-2003 had claimed more than 774 lives, which is way below the current death toll from COVID-19. As per reports, the new coronavirus originated from China's Hubei province, where animals were being traded illegally.