Army drafted in to impose lockdown at Italian coronavirus epicentre

The army will be brought in to enforce lockdown in Lombardy – the Italian region hit worst by coronavirus.

The president of Lombardy said on Friday the government had agreed to deploy troops as the pandemic shows no signs of slowing down.

‘(The request to use the army) has been accepted… and 114 soldiers will be on the ground throughout Lombardy… it is still too little, but it is positive,’ Attilio Fontana told a news conference.

Lombardy has also asked the government to further tighten the restrictions already in place, which include the closure of all non-essential commercial activities and a ban on public gatherings.

Mr Fontana said contagion is still spreading as Italy’s death toll reached 3,405. More than 41,000 people have caught the infection across the country, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.

‘Unfortunately we are not seeing a change of trend in the numbers, which are rising,’ he said.

This is a breaking story we will be updating.

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