Mother and daughter on coronavirus lockdown in Italy say other countries must 'sit up and take note'

A mother and daughter on lockdown in Italy have told ITV News that other European countries must "sit up and take note" after the country experienced the highest number of coronavirus deaths outside of China.

Teacher Alison Leany, originally from Wrexham, who now lives in Brescia, northern Italy, said "everyone has to do their bit" to stop the spread of Covid-19.

"The message here really is you are responsible for stopping the spread, and everyone has to do their bit.

"A couple of weeks ago I would've put it down to Italian drama, butwe sort of laughed about it a little bit - but in two weeks, it has just changed.

"This is a message other EU countries that they absolutely sit up and take note. The virus doesn't know boundaries - I really do think that everyone has to be on alert."

Shoppers flood to a supermarket in Milan as new measures are introduced. Credit: PA Images

Alison said she is using her time to conduct lessons online with her pupils.

"We're trying to organise online lessons and live streaming. I never thought at my age I would be opening a YouTube channel! I've got quite a lot going on - it's a challenge, so if there's anything good to be had from all of this, that is it.

Her daughter Matilda travelled to Brescia to visit her mother, but ended up being caught up in the country's lockdown procedures. She said she is finding the lockdown "difficult".

Matilda said, "Suddenly, you're not allowed to leave the house anymore unless you've got a specific reason to which could be going to hospital or medical reasons or going shopping. So, it's hard being in the house all day and not be able to do anything far from your every day life".

She said, having come from London, "not enough" is being done to control the spread of the virus in the UK.

"The fact that the UK can see the situation Italy is in and how quickly they went from having a couple of cases to thousands, and hundreds of deaths, this has to play an important part in what the UK does next.

"We need to do everything in our power to stop this from happening... because if you don't do this, and you wait until it gets really bad like they have here then its already too late."

Panic buying erupted in Italy overnight after the country's premier introduced a nationwide lockdown to combat coronavirus.

The sweeping restrictions - initially imposed in the north - were extended after the death toll from Covid-19 rose by 97 people in a single day to hit 463.

The number of confirmed cases in Italy jumped by 1,807 to reach 9,172.

Italy has now had the highest number of coronavirus deaths outside of the respiratory disease's epicentre - China.

An eerily quiet St Mark's Square in Venice, Italy Credit: PA Images

"I went to get some shopping today", Alison said. "Many of the bars and shops are closed but there are people out walking but you sort of automatically stand at a metre or so away from people. No one hugs or kisses anymore - you touch elbows instead."

"It's very important the way we play the next three weeks", Matilda added. "Because if people see that by doing what the government here is saying and there is an improvement, then I think people will be more likely to listen to their government - and hopefully the situation will blow over in a reasonable time."