Italy to hike spending against coronavirus: PM

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 9, 2020 - Duration: 01:54s

Italy to hike spending against coronavirus: PM

Italy’s government will further increase spending in a “massive shock therapy” to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, the prime minister said on Monday.

Soraya Ali reports.

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Italy to hike spending against coronavirus: PM

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte vowed a massive spending increase for his government to combat coronavirus in what he's calling a "massive shock therapy" against the outbreak.

Italy -- the the hardest hit European country -- saw the number of coronavirus cases jump 25% on Sunday (March 8) with the death toll reaching 366.

In response, the government ordered a virtual lockdown across the north, including financial hub Milan.

The unprecedented move hopes to limit the movement of some 16 million people -- but only time will tell how effective this will really be.

More than 110,000 people have been infected globally by the virus and over 3,800 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

This weekend alone saw the number of cases in the UK rise by 30% and France increase by around 500.

Latin America also confirmed its first coronavirus related death in Argentina on Saturday (March 7) -- while Albania, Bangladesh and Paraguay joined the list of infected countries.

Gatherings across the world have been canceled or postponed as a result -- including the South by South West music festival, the Saudi Games and the Barcelona marathon to name a few.

Pope Francis even delivered his Sunday blessing over the internet from inside the Vatican -- opting out of his usual window spot.

Financial markets have been thrown into turmoil with an oil-price slump on Monday adding to fears of a global recession.

But there may be signs of easing where it all started --- Mainland China on Monday (March 9), reported no new locally transmitted cases outside Hubei province, for the second straight day.

But officials warned people to remain vigilant as foreigners and Chinese nationals travel back from affected regions.

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