The entire region of Lombardy in Italy has been placed in lockdown following growing realisation that Italy, and Lombardy in particular as one of the world’s top tourist destinations, has been acting as a ‘super-spreader’ region.  According to Reuters, the new rules will forbid people from entering or leaving Lombardy “as well as 11 provinces in four of Italy’s 19 other regions”.

In 2018, the GDP of Lombardy was €388 billion, or 22% of the national GDP of €1.76 trillion. Lombardy attracts over 37 million visitors and tourists a year, which make a vital financial contribution to the economy of the region.

As of 7 March 2020, the number of countries in the world with confirmed COVID-19 cases topped the one hundred mark for the first time according to the tally on the Worldometer website. Among the countries to announce first cases were Moldova, Paraguay, the Maldives and Malta.

In Moldova, the victim was a 48-year-old lady who fell ill while on a Wizzair flight from Milan to Chișinău.

In the Paraguay case, no details had been released, but Paraguay has not been quarantining passengers arriving from Italy unlike Brazil.

In the Maldives, the two local cases are employees of a tourist resort who are believed to have contracted the virus from an Italian tourist.

Finally, in Malta, the three cases were all returning together from Milan.

According to official statistics, Iran and Italy both announced over a thousand new cases, taking their total number of cases to 5823 and 5883 respectively. In Italy, there have been 233 deaths with 36 deaths announced today, while in Iran official statistics report that there have been 145 deaths with 21 new deaths today.

Iran appears to be systematically suppressing news about the extent of the spread of the virus in the country. The Iranian elite appears to have been particularly badly hit, with our own count showing at least twelve public figures having succumbed to the coronavirus.

Also on 7 March, Nicola Zingaretti, Secretary of the Democratic Party in Italy announced that he had contracted COVID-19.

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