Riots Erupt at Lockdown Protest amid Record Coronavirus Surge in Italy (+Video)
- October, 24, 2020 - 10:19
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Protesters set garbage cans on fire and clashed with police in Naples, Italy, Friday night as a curfew was imposed to curb the growing spread of the coronavirus.
Riots erupted in Naples as people took to the street following the imposition of the curfew.
Videos and photos on social media showed incredible scenes as many young people clashed with police officers in one of the biggest cities in the south of Italy, the Mirror reported.
It comes after the country saw a rise in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, with some regions, in particular Lombardy and Campania, seeing a huge spike in infections.
Vincenzo De Luca, President of the Campania region, said on Friday that he was considering imposing a total lockdown, closing schools, businesses and leaving only essential services open, to prevent further spread of the virus.
The announcement was seen as a big blow as people are worried about their livelihoods if a second lockdown is imposed.
But De Luca said the region is now at a critical point and he wants to act before it is too late.
Campania recorded 2,280 new coronavirus cases yesterday, bringing the total number of infections in the region to 34,305.
According to data released by the local health authority, 12 more people died after contracting COVID-19.
The total number of coronavirus-related fatalities in the region currently stands at 563.
Campania has already closed most of its schools and imposed a nighttime curfew, and in the evening police used tear gas in Naples against hundreds of people protesting against the prospect of even tougher measures.
They were the first such demonstrations in Italy since the start of its coronavirus outbreak eight months ago.
The governor of Lombardy, which includes Italy’s financial capital Milan, said on Friday his region faced a “dramatic situation” and urged locals to respect a curfew that runs from 11pm to 5am, amongst other measures.
Lombardy, the epicentre of Italy’s initial outbreak, remains the hardest hit region, accounting for 4,916 of the new cases on Friday. Campania was the second-worst hit.
COVID-19 cases across the country have risen seven-fold since the start of the month, jumping to 19,143 on Friday and raising fears that the pandemic is spiralling out of control.
Fatalities totalled 91 on Friday, down from 136 the day before and far fewer than at the height of the first wave in March and April, when a daily peak of more than 900 deaths was reached.