More than 100,000 Italians in 10 villages are on lockdown in northern Italy amid new concerns the Covid-19 outbreak has spread to Europe. This prompted Paramount Pictures to halt filming of Tom Cruise's "Mission: Impossible 7" in Venice, Italy, for the next three weeks.
Paramount announced on Monday that the Italian government had banned all public gatherings, which prevented movie production crews from filming.
"Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew, and efforts of the local Venetian government to halt public gatherings in response to the threat of coronavirus, we are altering the production plan for our three-week shoot in Venice, the scheduled first leg of an extensive production for 'Mission: Impossible 7,'" the statement said.
"During this hiatus, we want to be mindful of the concerns of the crew and are allowing them to return home until production starts. We will continue to monitor this situation, and work alongside health and government officials as it evolves."
Most of the cases have been recorded in Lombardy (200+), while Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, Bolzano, Trentino, and Rome have all confirmed at least one case.
Here's a chart showing the parabolic trajectory of cases in Italy:
The emergence of Italy, Iran, South Korea, and Japan as new outbreak zones of the virus is causing new concern that a pandemic could be imminent. So far, 80,300 people in 37 countries have been infected, resulting in 2,700 deaths.
The Trump administration is preparing to ask Congress for $2.5 billion in emergency funds to fight the virus as pandemic threats continue to surge.
As we've previously noted - WHO's Dr. Tedros Adhanom said during the organization's Monday morning press briefing that the outbreak isn't yet a real "pandemic" because the world hasn't seen "large-scale deaths." Yeah, okay, but just ignore all the surging cases around the world!
The economic impact of the virus on Italy's economy could be much deeper than previously thought. As cases spread across Europe, the continent is now on recession watch.