Italian leaders fiercely reprimand residents defying lockdown protocols

“I’m getting news that some would like to throw graduation parties," De Luca said. "We will send the police over – with flamethrowers.”

Tourists wear protective masks in Saint Mark's Square in Venice as Italy battles a coronavirus outbreak, Venice, Italy, February 27, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/MANUEL SILVESTRI)
Tourists wear protective masks in Saint Mark's Square in Venice as Italy battles a coronavirus outbreak, Venice, Italy, February 27, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/MANUEL SILVESTRI)
Mayors and regional leaders across Italy have indignantly taken to social media in recent days, sharing strongly worded messages and even threats directed at residents in their regions who are refusing to follow the coronavirus lockdown protocols enacted by the Italian government.
The president of Italy's southern Campania region, Vincenzo De Luca, issued a general threat to citizens intent on throwing graduation parties during the lockdown. He stated in a video series issuing daily updates for the Campania area, that if citizens insist on having these gatherings they should be expected to be met by police armed with flamethrowers.
“I’m getting news that some would like to throw graduation parties," De Luca said. "We will send the police over. With flamethrowers.”

Cateno De Luca, Mayor of Messina in Sicily, directed a mafioso-styled message towards anyone who thinks they can "stroll" into his town and break the law, urging citizens to stay in their homes during this trying time or face the consequences.
“I’m going to catch you. Tomorrow, not in a year. Tomorrow!" he began his statement. "I’m the Mayor. You won’t stroll in my town. I can’t formally ban you from leaving your house? Nice. I will ban you from stepping on public soil, if not for proven necessities.”
Antonio Decaro, Mayor of Bari, even took to the streets to directly spell out government orders to people still out in public.
"You can't play ping pong. Go home. Play some video games," he said to two people playing table tennis by the beach. "I'm the mayor of this city. I will make you follow this decree. I don't want excuses. You must go home."
"How can I spell it out? You can't stay in the streets," Decaro said to another citizen walking through a public square.
Giuseppe Falcomatà, the mayor of Reggio Calabria, claimed that he stopped a man "amiably" running on the street and told him, "Look, this isn't a movie. You are not Will Smith in I Am Legend. You have to go home."
Massimiliano Presciutti, Mayor of Gualdo Tadino, Perugia, obscenely addressed his public contingency in a video circulating on social media, where he starting off by saying "Where the f*** are you all going? You and your dogs... which must have an inflamed prostate."
Reportedly, Italians in his region have been walking dogs excessively as an excuse to go out.
Antonio Tutolo, the mayor of Lucera, who can be seen in a video wearing gloves and a mask while inside his home, frantically addresses the public, wondering why people care more about the way they look over their good health.
"Getting in mobile hairdressers? What the f*** is that for?,' asked Tutolo. "Do you understand that the casket will be closed? Who the f*** is supposed to even see you? With your hair all done in the casket?"
Italy recorded a jump in deaths from coronavirus of 602 on Monday, bringing the toll in the world's hardest-hit country to 6,077.
The total number of confirmed cases in Italy rose to 63,927 on Monday from a previous 59,138, an increase of 8%, the Civil Protection Agency said – the lowest rise in percentage terms since the contagion came to light on Feb. 21.
In its latest desperate effort to halt the epidemic, Rome ordered that all businesses must close until April 3, with the exception of those essential to maintaining the country's supply chain.
"It is the most difficult crisis in our post-war period," Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a video posted on Facebook, adding that "only production activities deemed vital for national production will be allowed."
Conte did not specify which factories and businesses will be considered crucial to keep the country going. The government is expected to publish an emergency decree on Sunday to make the new crackdown immediately effective.
Supermarkets, pharmacies, and postal and banking services will remain open, and essential public services including transport will be ensured.
"We are slowing down the country's production engine but we are not stopping it," Conte said.
Italy on Thursday overtook China as the country worst hit by the highly contagious virus.
Lombardy, the northern Italian region around Milan which is the worst-affected, remains in a critical situation, with 3,095 deaths and 25,515 cases as of Saturday.

Reuters contributed to this report.



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