Virtually all of the news in Italy over the last weeks has been around the outbreak of Corona Virus in the country. At the end of February, there had been over 1,000 people infected, with 29 deaths. Most were contained in the northern regions, but with sporadic cases beginning to appear in other areas around the country. The northern town of Codogno, together with 10 others in the so called 'Red Zone', in the province of Lodi, Lombardy, are in total lockdown. Road blocks have been set up to prevent anyone entering or leaving. Throughout the northern regions, there has been serious disruption to life with schools, churches and museums closed. The last few days of the Venice Carnival were cancelled and many sporting events have been postponed or cancelled. The government has also suspended all school trips and exchange programmes until after March 25.
Meanwhile, scientists at Milan's Sacco Hospital have successfully isolated the strain of the disease that has affected Italy, the first stage of developing vaccines and treatments for the disease.