Coronavirus: Inside Italy's COVID-19 Lockdown | Foreign Correspondent

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It’s Europe’s coronavirus epicentre with cases of infected rising by up to a thousand daily. Hospitals are full. Patients, young and old, are dying. To control the outbreak, Italy is in lockdown but is it too little too late?

In the province of Lodi, half an hour from northern Italy’s capital Milan, it’s day 23 of the lockdown.

A young couple - Isabella and Roberto - are stuck inside with their 3-year-old daughter Eleonora. They’re wondering when they will be able to resume normal life.

The northern Lombardy region has been dubbed the ground zero of Italy’s corona crisis. So far, over two thousand people have died there and nearly thirty thousand have been infected.

After Lombardy, the virus spread through the north, then nationwide.
At first, doctors mistook it for the flu. Precious time was lost and now Italy, known for its warm embraces and kisses on both cheeks, has more cases than any country apart from China.

Hospitals have been swamped. All non-corona related patients’ care has been sidelined. Doctors have been issued with protocols about which patients to prioritise and which not to – a form of disaster medicine.

Desperate to bring the virus under control, Italy has finally taken strong action, declaring a nationwide lockdown. Schools and universities have shut. Shops, cafes and restaurants have closed. Apart from buying groceries, people need official authorisation to move around or else face a fine.

Reporter Emma Alberici can’t travel to Italy but she has relatives and friends there.

For this special report, Emma taps into her network of family and friends as well as doctors and businesspeople, to tell an intimate story about how families, communities and the country are dealing with this unprecedented health emergency.

We use skype calls, phone diaries, photos and home video to bring you a picture of Italy in lockdown.

In Milan, we meet the head surgeon at one of the city’s major hospitals. He’s isolated at home after contracting the Coronavirus from one of his patients. He explains how he’s being treated for the infection and his fears for his wife, who’s working as an obstetrician.

There’s 7-year-old Zoe, who doing school from her home in Milan. She skypes her Australian friend Livia and they chat and giggle about the virus and hand washing.

We meet Emma’s 90-year-old aunt recently hospitalised with influenza, and her cousin – also Emma Alberici – who’s looking after her mother while holding down a job as CFO of a big pharmaceutical company in Milan – an industry which has special exemption from the lockdown.

We hear from Isabella and Roberto about the meals they’re cooking and the bread they’re baking.

And we interview virologist Prof Roberto Burioni who warns Australia that this virus is dangerous and must be taken with the utmost seriousness.

This is an intimate insight into an extraordinary moment in history.

About Foreign Correspondent:
Foreign Correspondent is the prime-time international public affairs program on Australia's national broadcaster, ABC-TV. We produce half-hour duration in-depth reports for broadcast across the ABC's television channels and digital platforms. Since 1992, our teams have journeyed to more than 170 countries to report on war, natural calamity and social and political upheaval – through the eyes of the people at the heart of it all.

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💬 Comments on the video

Hey Guys, if you have any questions regarding the story, please reply to this comment. The team behind this episode will be answering the best questions in a couple days.

Author — ABC News In-depth


It's fine to show all the wealthy people in big homes with gardens and treadmills and really it just a good opportunity for quality family time. What about the homeless and the poor people living in a small one-room flat. "Cabin fever" in a house on the lake...really?

Author — baklavaa


I would be more interested in seeing how everyday Italians are coping. Not just the wealthy.

Author — JOY Callicott


The two little girls at the end talking Italian 💕😍 God bless Italy and the Italian people. Beautiful country with beautiful people.

Author — vd3000


There are also alot of people living alone in the apartments for one month without seeing anyone.. imagine how difficult it is.

Author — keren7


I’m so sorry bad news from Italy.
i’m a Korean.

Please request to Korean Government.
All of Corona Virus testing Kit
And many solutions.
They’ll help Italy government and italian.

Don’t panic and stay home.
Trust your government and follow order.

Watching news and watching S Korean
What they doing against corona virus.

God bless Italy.
Also i and all of Korean
pray for beautiful Italy. 🇮🇹

Author — Pola Pola


I pray to God for speedy recovery of every Italian

from India.

Author — karthikhyd1


That woman is 90?! I need to know her skincare routine!

Author — Trenton James


It’s so sad to see people living in this condition. Hope Italy become well soon . Prayers from India

Author — Peace


a cure for covid has been found its called;

Author — Jess Bubb


That's why india take it seriously.
And our prime minister lockdown the country strictly for 21 days.
Viva italy.we are with you

Author — Pankaj Chaubey


These doctors and nurses are true heroes and even martyrs.

Author — Jan Taljaard


Best regards from the US. Here’s hoping Italy comes back from this better and stronger than ever. Much love to you all, stay healthy and stay strong.

Author — GTAfan421


*There is also advantage to those who are homebuddy and prefer to stay home alone than always going out to party. I thought all my life, I am weird because I do not go out with friends and now it benefits my health.*

Author — BF Channel


Also, consider that italian healthcare system is one of the best of the western countries and of the entire world. Just immagine what could happen in poor countries.

Author — mo ov


It's not "Ground Zero" in Milan. That's Wuhan in China where the disease emanated from.

Author — Carl Marks


They should have stopped chinese flights when Chinese reported virus in January..they could have saved themselves from this wide spread

Author — Ajay Singh


"We are at home but we cant be too close to eachother" while sitting SIDE BY SIDE. wtf

Author — Garrett A


Sending best wishes to all in Italia..🥰

Author — Deborah Watson


Prayers to the people in Italy from Philippines. And all around the world who got affected by COVID-19. This too shall pass. 🙏🏼

Author — R R Q u e e n