The Italian military will be used to ensure that residents in Lombardy, the region of Italy worst hit by the coronavirus outbreak, are complying with a quarantine.
According to officials, all efforts to contain the virus have been unsuccessful.
Hospitals in Lombardy will “soon” be unable to help new coronavirus cases, regional Gov. Attilio Fontana said.
RT reports: Regional president Attilio Fontana told a news conference on Friday that the military had accepted his request to help enforce the lockdown, and that 114 soldiers tasked with keeping people indoors will be “on the ground throughout Lombardy.”
He lamented that the number of military personnel was “still too little” but that it was nevertheless a positive development.
Lombardy’s government has also asked for tighter restrictions on non-essential travel. The region’s leader said that the number of infections in Lombardy continues to rise, despite efforts to contain the respiratory illness.
The Italian military has already been aiding with relief efforts in the region. On Thursday, a viral video showed Italian military trucks transporting corpses out of a city in Lombardy — reportedly because the local crematorium was overwhelmed by coronavirus victims.
As of Friday, Italy has registered more than 41,000 cases and 3,405 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The death toll has now officially surpassed total fatalities in China, where the outbreak began more than two months ago.
The majority of infections have been in the country’s north, which includes Lombardy.