WATCH: Italy quarantines over 1/4 of the population in hopes to slow coronavirus spread

The Italian government has quarantining 16 million people in the northern region after its biggest one-day spike in coronavirus cases.


UPI reports Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Sunday signed a decree that places several million residents of northern Italy into lockdown as the death toll from the coronavirus reached 366 in the nation, the most outside mainland China where the outbreak began two months ago.

Worldwide, a total of 3,799 people have died and there are 109,575 cases, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins.. A total of 60,693 have recovered.

On Sunday night, Italy’s Civil Protection announced there were 133 additional deaths and 1,492 new cases since Saturday for a total of 7,375. One day earlier, there were 1,247 cases and 197 deaths.

The lockdown affects the entire Lombardy region, which has 10 million residents, and Includes, and 14 other provinces that comprise 14 million: Venice, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Pesaro and Urbino, Alessandria, Asti, Novara, Verbano Cusio Ossola, Vercelli, Padua and Treviso.

“We want to protect the health of all citizens,” Conte said in a statement. “We are aware that this will create unease and that these measures will be a sacrifice, big and small. But this is the time to be responsible.”

Some measures also apply to the entire nation: the suspension of schools, university classes, theaters and cinemas, as well as bars, nightclubs, and sports events. Also, religious ceremonies, including funerals, also will be suspended.