Inside the Covid-19 unit of the Policlinico Sant'Orsola-Malpighi hospital in Bologna. Photo: AFP
There were protests and unrest on Thursday after authorities locked down a residential area in Campania were around 50 cases of coronavirus were reported.
Some 700 people have been ordered to remain indoors in four council housing blocks in Mondragone – 60 kilometres north of Naples on the coast in the Campania region – since Monday, while local health authorities test them for the virus, Rai news reported.
Regional governor Vincenzo De Luca called for backup from the army, which he said was on its way.
New cases, including those who are asymptomatic, are being transferred to a local hospital.
But several of the 49 people who have tested positive so far have since gone missing.
Some were undocumented Bulgarian workers who feared losing their jobs, said Rai.
Tensions erupted as the quarantined foreign residents staged a protest, and Italians living nearby arrived to throw stones and smash up cars on the estate.
Residents of the 'red zone' estate in Mondragone, Calabria protested the lockdown on Thursday. Photo: Ansa/AFP
It was not the only cluster of new cases in Italy, which lifted its lockdown at the start of June after three months of a pandemic which has officially killed over 34,600 people.
Another set has emerged at a warehouse in Bologna used by express courier Bartolini (BRT). a local newspaper said on Thursday.
The company has so far uncovered 61 asymptomatic cases – including two drivers, and friends and relatives of employees – after testing workers at the warehouse in central-northern Italy following the discovery of two members of staff with the virus, the Resto del Carlino daily newspaper reported on Thursday.
Bartolini (BRT) has closed the warehouse, although deliveries continue.
It was expected to test all staff who have come into contact with those with the virus, the report said.
The fresh outbreaks of Covid-19 come as Italy is re-emerging from lockdown in a phased process that began in early May.
Italian media has identified 10 cases of new clusters across the country this week in the following areas:
Palmi, Reggio Calabria
Bologna (at a BRT warehouse)
Rome (inside a convent)
Montecchio, Reggio Emilia
Porto Empedocle, Sicily (on board a migrant rescue ship)