At least seven inmates have reportedly died in Italy and guards were taken hostage at another jail as the unrest spread in crowded prisons across the country and riots broke out over measures to contain the Coronavirus, including restrictions on visits. According to various international news reports, strict measures have been imposed in the jails of Italy to contain the deadly virus. It has reportedly ignited tensions among inmates across the country.
Protests have been reported at 27 different sites across the country and seven people have been reported dead after clashes on Sunday at the Saint Anna penitentiary in Modena, a 'red zone' area under quarantine in Italy.
🚨 #ITALY 🚨 #Foggia detainees in revolt attempt to escape, injured & violent clashes with the police forces (6 dead source).— ISCResearch (@ISCResearch) March 9, 2020
Protests also in Milan, Bari, Modena, Naples, Salerno and Frosinone.pic.twitter.com/AtWk6Kyp6N
According to reports, authorities are awaiting the autopsy results to comment on the reason of the deaths. The prison administration sources reported overdoses of drugs following a break into the prison infirmary. Two victims reportedly died after they were transferred to Alessandria and Verona on Monday.
A prison break was attempted in Foggia, which is situated in the southern region of Apulia, where dozens of people managed to escape. Protests and riots emerged in several prisons over the weekend which started on Saturday in Salerno near Naples, where 200 inmates vandalised the first floor of the building before barricading themselves on the roof, according to local media reports.
Italy is the worst hit country in Europe. The death toll of the nation has reportedly jumped within the past 24 hours, bringing the new death toll at 97 and total 463 deaths have been confirmed across the country. The total confirmed coronavirus cases surged to 9,172 from 5,883 as of March 9. At least 16 million have been put under lockdown, including Lombardy and several other cities in northern Italy, confirmed reports. Europe has stepped up containment efforts to stem the spread of the disease in Italy.
(with inputs from agencies)
(image credit: AP)