• Italian journalist Mattia Ferraresi has urged UK to lockdown now amid pandemic
  • He called mass quarantine ‘exercise in humility’ as Covid-19 cases pass 17,000
  • Top medic Giuseppe Natalini called Italy’s crisis ‘catastrophic, unimaginable’
  • Up to 60million Italians are on lockdown as the coronavirus death toll hit 1,000+
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

An Italian journalist is warning Britons to ‘stay home’ amid the coronavirus pandemic as one of the country’s top doctors warns Covid-19 is ‘apocalyptic’.

The stark pleas to ban mass gatherings, avoid contact with others, and self-isolate in the UK and US come as 60million Italians are forced to endure a lockdown.

Mattia Ferraresi, who writes for Il Foglio, has said the Government wasted time in not acting decisively and more drastically early on – and claims that Italy‘s universal healthcare system has been ‘felled’ by more than 17,000 confirmed cases.

He has described life in the lockdown is an ‘exercise in humility’ and is now urging people to sacrifice ‘individual freedom in order to protect everybody’.

Writing in The Boston Globenewspaper, Mr Ferraresi, of Rome, said: ‘Until last week, the Italian public

‘Our country has universal health care, so patients aren’t turned away from hospitals here. But in a matter of days, the system was being felled by a virus that I, and many other Italians, had failed to take seriously.

‘It didn’t have to come to this. We of course couldn’t stop the emergence of a previously unknown and deadly virus. 

‘But we could have mitigated the situation we are now in, in which people who could have been saved are dying. I, and too many others, could have taken a simple yet morally loaded action: We could have stayed home.’

He blasted ‘less-than-urgent appeals to the public’ by Governments to make small behavioural changes, arguing ‘when the terrible outcomes they are designed to prevent… become evidence, it’s generally too late to act’.

‘When everybody’s health is at stake, true freedom is to follow instructions,’ he said.