Samoan in Rome shares Italy lockdown experience

A Samoan living in Italy says the Italian government could extend the lockdown due to the increase in coronavirus COVID-19 cases.

Franco Caffarelli, who has family in Rome, and is currently studying at the American University of Rome told the Samoa Observer that the number of cases in Italy are high and the government has asked everyone to stay indoors.

Mr. Caffarelli was a gold medallist in shooting during last year’s XVI Pacific Games,

“We have been advised by the Government to quarantine ourselves until they issue a statement allowing us to leave our houses,” he said. “It has been two weeks of quarantine and it is supposed to finish on the 3rd of April, but the government is trying to decide whether to extend or not.”

The European country has now recorded the highest number of deaths from COVID-19, its 6,820 fatalities eclipsing China’s 3,160 deaths according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Research Centre

Mr. Caffarelli said the area in Rome where he resides is less affected by the virus, but the number of cases in the country are still very high.

“We are in the region of Lazio in the city of Rome so we are in a less affected area. But the cases are still high,” he said.

The sight of empty streets in one of the world’s most visited cosmopolitan cities is a new experience for him, though he revealed that supermarkets and pharmacies remain open for the public. 

Italy has one of the world’s best healthcare systems, according to Mr. Caffarelli and people have to report if they suspect any symptoms of the coronavirus.

Asked by the Samoa Observer if he had any advice on how Samoans should prepare for the virus, he said the best advice is to follow what the Government says and to always be hygienic.

“Samoa should follow the Government's advice on how to deal with the situation, which should include washing hands frequently and social distancing. I’m sure people are praying for this to end, but we are also keeping our spirits high by singing or playing music out our windows or sunbathing on our terraces,” he added.

A total of 422,915 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded worldwide with 18,916 deaths and the recovery of 108,573 people from the virus. 

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