UPDATE (March 4, 2020): Vinitaly has been postponed until June. See details here.
Above: empty shelves at an Esselunga supermarket in downtown Milan yesterday. “We are asking our customers to limit their purchases solely to daily needs,” write the authors of a post on the retail chain’s website (photo by Laura Menichelli).
UPDATE 11:10 a.m. February 26, 2020
VINITALY APRIL DATES HAVE JUST BEEN CONFIRMED BY VERONAFIERE. GREAT NEWS!
According to the latest update from Italy’s health ministry (published today at noon, Italian time), 374 persons in Italy have been infected with the novel coronavirus. Of these, 12 persons have died and 1 person [a Chinese tourist who is believed to be the first case in Italy] has recovered.
(According to the most recent update by the Italian mainstream media, the number of officially reported cases is now 378.)
There have been 52 new cases reported since yesterday (56 according to the most recent update).
There are currently 116 patients showing symptoms, 36 in intensive care, and 209 in home isolation.
Here’s the breakdown of cases by region (according to the latest health ministry update:
Lombardy: 258 (18 new cases since yesterday).
Veneto: 71 (28 new cases).
Emilia-Romagna: 30 (4 new cases).
South Tyrol: 1.
The 12th person to succumb to the disease was a 69-year-old man from Lombardy. And four children, ages 10 and under, have been infected, although none of those cases appear to be serious (Repubblica).
Across Lombardy, where there is the highest concentration of cases, grocery store shelves have been emptied and the streets are deserted as many small cities remain on lockdown and all public gatherings have been put on hold.
Yesterday, the organizers of the Salone del Mobile in Milan, one of the world’s largest interior design shows, announced that they are postponing the April trade show until June.
The event was scheduled to begin on April 21 and the news has prompted fears in the Italian wine trade that Vinitaly, the industry’s annual gathering in Verona, currently scheduled to commence on April 19, will also be cancelled or postposed.