A prison riot over coronavirus has killed six as inmates set fire to a jail in Italy as the virus continues to ravage the nation.
Hundreds of prisoners went on the rampage at Modena prison which took almost 24 hours to bring under control.
The uprising reportedly started on Sunday and was an attempt at a mass escape from the prison.
Prisoners are reportedly furious over the suspension of visits as Italy attempts to get control of the coronavirus epidemic.
Guards managed to contain the riot and stop almost 500 prisoners from escaping – with numerous people being arrested.
Inmates reportedly stormed the infirmary and stole drugs amid the tension over coronavirus.
North Korea coronavirus 'kills 180 soldiers' as outbreak sweeps secretive state
- Coronavirus fuels surge in apocalypse bunker sales as people buy 'before its too late'
Israel completely seals city of Bethlehem over coronavirus outbreak – 'No one can leave'
Italy remains the epicentre of the epidemic in Europe, with million of people now living under quarantine.
Prisoners also revolted at jails in Naples Poggioreale, Frosinone and Alexandria over the weekend.
In a statement, rights group Antigone said: "We had already warned tensions were growing in prisons, and that we feared it could end in tragedy."
2,000 passengers and crew in coronavirus lockdown on ship as tourist falls ill after cruise
Commuters don nappies, storage boxes and plastic bags to beat coronavirus
It added: "All necessary measures must be taken to ensure prisoners their full rights, stopping this escalation of tension and preventing others from dying."
Protesters during the riot in Frosinone reportedly barricaded themselves in and drew up a list of demands.
They are reportedly calling on the right to have visitors to be reinstated, despite the threat from coronavirus.
Families of prisoners are also protesting outside the jails as they call for the right to see their loved ones.
Coronavirus fears shutting down Chinese takeaways as punters panic due to outbreak
Glastonbury coronavirus cancellation threat as organisers ‘monitoring’ outbreak
It comes as budget airline easyJet is cancelling a number of flights to and from central and northern Italy after the country's government imposed heavy restrictions on residents in a bid to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
Around 16 million people, more than a quarter of the Italian population, are in a state of lockdown until April 3 as the infection rate of Covid-19 continues to rise.
Italy has registered more cases of coronavirus than any country outside China while its death toll has risen to 366.
The British authorities are advising against all but essential travel to large swathes of the country.
The Foreign Office (FCO) advice covers the Lombardy region, including the cities of Milan, Bergamo and Como, and the provinces of Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia and Rimini – all in the Emilia Romagna region.
Queen wears gloves as she hands out honours with coronavirus fears growing
MP warns 'we cannot be 100% sure coronavirus didn’t come from China bio lab'
The extraordinary measures put in place across central and northern Italy include the closure of museums, cultural institutions and the suspension of all public gatherings and social events, including pubs, nightclubs and games halls.
Religious ceremonies and funerals have been suspended, and ski facilities in the affected mountain areas are closed.
More widely across Italy, museums, including in the Vatican, are closed and all sporting fixtures must be played behind closed doors.
Childcare facilities, schools and universities are closed until March 15.
The FCO said public and social gatherings in the country should be avoided with cinemas, pubs and clubs closed, while restaurants and bars remain open with reduced seating.
Disneyland Paris staff member tests positive for coronavirus
Tesco to ration milk, pasta and Calpol over coronavirus outbreak
On Sunday evening, easyJet announced several flights to or from these destinations would be cancelled on Monday.
The company said in light of the lockdown in Italy, it would be reviewing its flying programme to Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, Venice and Verona airports from now until April 3.
"In the short-term we will be cancelling a number of flights to and from these destinations on Monday 9 March," it said.
It said passengers on affected flights would receive an email or text message and offered either a full refund or the option of changing their flights.
The airline added: "We expect to continue to reduce the number of flights in and out of Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, Venice and Verona airports in the period up to April 3 and will provide a further update on our schedule in due course.
Coronavirus turns hot tourist destinations to ghost towns as holidaymakers stay home
Queen has last say and will attend Commonwealth service despite coronavirus fears
British Airways (BA) said on Sunday it was not planning to ground flights.
"There are no current travel restrictions or updates for airlines flying to and from Italy," the airline said.
It said customers with flights to or from northern Italy – specifically Milan, Turin, Bologna, Venice, Bergamo and Verona – could rebook to a later date not beyond May 31.
Today's Top Stories
BA added: "We are monitoring the situation closely and we will continue to liaise with government and global health authority and follow their advice."
Ryanair has also not said it is planning to cancel any routes, saying instead: "We are following guidelines issued by the Italian government and the World Health Organisation."
Source: Read Full Article