Italians Also Panic-Buying After Country Reports 155 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases & 3 Deaths

As you focus on South Korea and Japan having hockey-stick growth in the number of new COVID-19 cases, do you know that farther from us, in Italy, the country’s COVID-19 cases has climbed up to 155, with most cases being reported in the last two days?

The country reported its first two cases on 31 January 2020 in Lazio, and they are both imported cases from China.

Since then, the other case is an Italian who was evacuated from Wuhan.

Upon that, they have been COVID-19-free when all of a sudden, 16 cases (14 in Lombardy and 2 in Veneto) were reported on 21 February 2020.

Unlike South Korea whereby the outbreak could be attributed to an irresponsible woman, the worst part of the Italy outbreak is that they didn’t even know who spread to who: it just came out of nowhere.

The next day, it got worse as 59 new cases were confirmed, though most of them were in the same regions.

And yesterday, a whopping 80 new cases were reported.

Measures Taken by Authorities

With the sudden outbreak, the authorities declare a new decree law to contain the virus, including quarantining more than 50,000 people from 11 different municipalities in Northern Italy.

Some soccer matches were postponed and in some regions, there had been lockdowns whereby entries and exits were sealed off. Whoever tries to violate the lockdown rules would be fined or jailed, and the military and law enforcement agencies were there to ensure that the lockdown is in place.

Some schools were closed and public events cancelled, while trains aren’t stopping at the lockdown areas.

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In other words, the authorities are doing what South Korea has done as well: “‘unprecedented powerful measures”.

And just like South Korea (and Singapore), the people there have also implemented their own unprecedented powerful measures: panic buying.

Italians Also Panic-Buying in Supermarket

Just like Daegu and Wuhan, Lombardy, the region that’s most affected by the outbreak with 116 cases, has become a ghost town.

After all, remember: it’s locked down.


Interestingly enough, over in the town of Codogno in Lombardy, the local authorities order the pharmacies to remain open, but as expected, masks are all sold out.

And just as expected, panic buying occurred, too.

Just take a look at this video; it seems like toilet paper is still people’s priority during an outbreak.

Didn’t see the empty shelf that used to be filled with pang sai paper?

Here you go:

Most of the panic buying occurred in Northern Italy, the region that’s affected by the outbreak.


With this sudden outbreak in Europe, WHO is now sending a team over to Italy to learn more and hopefully contain it.

So far, MOH has issued a travel advisory to Daegu, Cheongdo and the whole of China, and I’m pretty sure they’ll be adding some Italy cities in the list soon.

This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying:

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