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US News UK should have gone into lockdown 10 days ago, Italian expert warns

23:40  26 march  2020
23:40  26 march  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

London Tubes and trains could start running 'scaled down' Saturday and Sunday services on weekdays from as early as this week amid coronavirus lockdown, warns Sadiq Khan - while thousands of commuters work from home

  London Tubes and trains could start running 'scaled down' Saturday and Sunday services on weekdays from as early as this week amid coronavirus lockdown, warns Sadiq Khan - while thousands of commuters work from home Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says that steps could be brought in within a matter of days as the capital is weeks ahead of the rest of the country in terms of the curve of the Covid-19 outbreak.The Underground, Overground and Docklands Light Railway Service could see journeys reduced as thousands of commuters work from home.

UK CORONAVIRUS measures were attacked by the Italian Government's scientific adviser who Italian Government adviser Walter Ricciardi attacked Boris Johnson for introducing lockdown (Image: Getty). Mr Ricciardi said: "The cases that have been generated 10 days ago would not have

Boris Johnson last night put UK into a state of lockdown in a desperate attempt to slow spread of coronavirus. The practical ramifications of the measures are now starting to sink in with Number 10 today telling people who are dating that they should not visit their partner's house.

a group of people waiting to board a bus: A packed train in London on Monday, when an Italian expert says the UK should have been locked down © Other A packed train in London on Monday, when an Italian expert says the UK should have been locked down

The UK should have gone into lockdown 10 days ago and is now at risk of having a worse coronavirus infection rate than Italy, a World Health Organisation (WHO) expert has warned.

Walter Ricciardi, the Italian government's scientific adviser, who called Italy's lockdown, told Sky News that the UK had the benefit of seeing what happened in his home nation and should have learned lessons.

a crowd of people watching a baseball game: A football match between Atalanta and Valencia was blamed for helping spread the virus in Italy © Getty A football match between Atalanta and Valencia was blamed for helping spread the virus in Italy

The Italian WHO representative compared recent images of packed trains on the London Underground with a football match in Milan last month, which is believed to have accelerated the COVID-19 outbreak in northern Italy.

Coronavirus: Army to enforce lockdown in Italy's worst-hit region

  Coronavirus: Army to enforce lockdown in Italy's worst-hit region The army will be used to impose the lockdown in Lombardy - the region of Italy worst hit by the coronavirus outbreak. "The request to use the army has been accepted... and 114 soldiers will be on the ground throughout Lombardy," regional president Attilio Fontana told a news conference."It is still too little, but it is positive."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.

Boris Johnson plunged the UK into coronavirus lockdown last night - ordering the closure of all shops selling non-essential goods as well as playgrounds and churches. But he warned : 'We will be dealing with it, but I'm not sure we will have the resources to be able to see it through.'

He warned Australians they are going into tough restrictions but to remain calm. An Australian man who has been in lockdown in China has issued a warning to Australians as he is allowed outside for the first time in He said he was given a pass which allowed him out of lockdown for one hour a day .

"When we scientists put the evidence on your table, you should take action," Mr Ricciardi said.

"When you take the decision late you pay a price in sick people and in deaths."

In pictures: Coronavirus (COVID-19) hits UK amid global pandemic

Some 40,000 football fans travelled from Bergamo to San Siro stadium to watch Atalanta beat Valencia on 19 February.

Amazing wood-carved cars are the perfect lockdown project

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That event is believed to have poured petrol on the coronavirus crisis in Bergamo in the region of Lombardy, now the epicentre of this pandemic.

Kindness in crisis appeal: Help Britain’s most vulnerable beat coronavirus

Mr Ricciardi said: "When I looked at some images of the London Tube or some mass gatherings that happened when we already had the impression that this was dangerous, this was a kind of example that could have been avoided.

"Having had the example of Italy, the UK could have adopted its (lockdown) much earlier."

He said the delay in calling a lockdown in the UK - which was announced on Monday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson - could result in a higher infection rate than Italy.

Mr Ricciardi added that normality as we know it will not resume until a COVID-19 vaccine is found and social distancing will have to be maintained.

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More on this story:

Virus killer: Why soap is the ultimate weapon in the global pandemic (Guardian)

How to self-isolate: Key steps to prevent the infection spreading (Vox)

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It could be the summer before we travel again within Europe, he added.

Italy is now the worst-hit country by the coronavirus outbreak after more than 8,000 deaths.

The reasons behind the huge death rate in Italy are complex but largely thought to be down to the country's population profile, the second oldest in the world.

The high concentration of cases in one area of northern Italy has also put pressure on a healthcare system that struggled to cope with the number of dying and sick.

By delaying the decision to lockdown the UK, Mr Ricciardi said it makes it inevitable British people will have to endure these conditions for longer.

Amazing wood-carved cars are the perfect lockdown project

  Amazing wood-carved cars are the perfect lockdown project Footage from outside London's ExCel Centre which is being converted into the Nightingale Hospital to cope with an expected peak in coronavirus cases in the capital.

"I think at least one month but I guess it could be even longer," he said.

Conditions in Italy have tightened in the last week. Exercise is more restricted and fines have increased to €3,000 for anyone found outside with a valid reason and the right documents.

Mr Ricciardi says he hopes the lockdown will not follow the Wuhan model of three months, but he expects it will be weeks before there is any relief for Italians.

He is now advising the government to adopt South Korean-style tracking, using people's mobile phones so they can monitor the movements and contact those who test positive.

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading - here is what you can and can't do. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

Amazing wood-carved cars are the perfect lockdown project .
Footage from outside London's ExCel Centre which is being converted into the Nightingale Hospital to cope with an expected peak in coronavirus cases in the capital.

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