Sobbing Italian pensioner’s heartbreaking coronavirus message to the world

Sobbing Italian pensioner Aurelio Fragapanni sends a message to the world to "hold on" as coronavirus paralyses countries one by one.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has imposed a nationwide lockdown in an effort to tackle the outbreak with movements in and out of cities severely restricted.

Italy has now seen 1,016 deaths among the 15,113 people infected and is the world's worst-hit country after China.

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While 1,258 people have recovered, the number of cases has gone up by 2,651 since Wednesday.

Speaking to Sky News Mr Fragapanni, who is one of those most at risk of catching the virus, was asked if he was worried and his answer was selfless.

"Yes, but not for me," he said.

He went on: "For everyone. For people in general. for everyone from the north to the south. For all the elderly people.

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"We've had many already died.

"Everything is closed. We need this.

"If the authorities launched these measures it is because they have to contain the virus."

When asked if he had a message for the world he paused before starting to cry and saying: "Hold on, hold on and hold on some more because we will overcome it."

Prime Minister Conte said: "The right decision today is to stay at home. Our future and the future of Italy is in our hands. These hands have to be more responsible today than ever before."

Italy's 60 million people are only able to travel for work, medical reasons or emergencies.

All schools and universities will not reopen before next month.

The contagion only came to light near Italy's financial capital Milan on February 21.

Conte said last week that all outdoor public gatherings are forbidden and announced that all sports events, including top flight Serie A soccer matches, would be suspended, throwing the closely watched championship into disarray.

The politician added: "We don't have any time. The numbers are showing that there has been a significant growth in infections, people in intensive care and deaths," he said in a sombre address.

"Our habits have to change right now. We must give things up for Italy."

Coronavirus has now become a global pandemic , World Health Organisation (WHO) says.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a media briefing earlier this week: “In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID19 outside China has increased 13-fold and the number of affected countries has tripled.

“Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals. In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of COVID19 cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher.

“WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction.

“We have therefore made the assessment that COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic.”

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