And a symbol of the enormous challenges facing Europe’s public health systems.
The Italian government is struggling to keep up with the spread of the virus.
It has sent in the army to enforce the lockdown in Lombardy, the northern region at the centre of the outbreak, and it is tightening already strict controls on daily life.
Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte has ordered all but the most essential businesses to close until April 3.
But will that reduce the number of people dying?
And what lessons can other countries learn from Italy?
Presenter: Bernard Smith
Francesca Borri – Journalist
Rossella Miccio – President of the non-governmental medical organisation, Emergency
Peter Drobac – Co-founder and first executive director of the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda
Source: Al Jazeera