The deaths of two people infected with the coronavirus have caused a dozen towns in northern Italy to go into lockdown. Clusters of virus cases have begun to appear with no direct links to the outbreak's origin.
Public offices were shuttered by the mayor of Milan and local authorities shut down schools, businesses, and restaurants. Sporting events and Masses were also canceled.
The first patient was identified in Codogno; they are now in critical condition. The town shut down supermarkets, restaurants, and shops. Those who ventured out donned face masks, which sold out at local pharmacies.
The president of Lombardy said that the region contained 39 confirmed cases. The Veneto region reported 12 people having had contracted the virus.
"Towns in Italy on Lockdown to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus," said Giulio Gallera, the head of the Lombardy health and welfare ministry.
Life as usual is continuing in Milan.
"It doesn’t seem to me in this moment for what regards our sector, our fashion week, that there are signs of danger," said Carlo Capasa, president of the Italian National Fashion Chamber. "We are tranquil and prudent.
By Saturday, the number of cases in Italy climbed to 54 nationwide. Although authorities are attempting to soothe the masses, it has been acknowledged that these "clusters" are concerning.