Transcript for Italy on lockdown over coronavirus
And while we deal of the growing emergency here at home for many the crisis is already in full swing the most active hot spot right now is Italy nearly 200 people there have died in just the last 24 hours airports have been. And MT as a country with the highest death three grapples with getting to spread under control all this. As a doctor on the front lines is issuing an alarming warning for his counterparts in America. ABC's Maggie ruling is tracking the latest from London where a health official there has announced they have counted nineteen. Life in Italy has officially crawled to a holds people are finally taking the country's lockdown seriously. It took a televised plea from prime minister can't date to protect Italy's older population we the Zorn a predictor. The country with an alarming rate of infection that's been difficult to contain. More than 2.3 hundred new cases of Kobe in nineteen in just the past 24 hours. Bringing the number infected to more than 121000. In claiming the lives of 800 in 27. It's health care system strains so badly medical professionals fear re sources may run out. Turning to shut down every theme. Here Ito's like it Bob VITAS quality and all of a sudden you Overland to by the patient. Italy's government heeding the calls everything but food markets and pharmacies are shutting down. Signs of a strained economy our palatable. ABC's Megan Williams is in Rome work businesses were struggling to survive even before the total lockdown. Just standing at my local people's idea sent out of USC. And Pete tell your lonely guy makes abuses says. He has. One more game probably to go like this is only have one client and that he's gonna close that it's just not sustainable. To keep his business element. Food shopping as the last sense of normalcy people have here. People are not courting the way they are. In North America people have smaller homes they also have different topics they go shopping every day for now. People are keeping those habits but here is almost as contagious as the virus itself. The World Health Organization declaring Kuwait in nineteen MP endemic. It would be a tsunami could be. The team bowled a country unless that you take immediate action otherwise it would be to be done actually. Nations with infection scrambling to test three pouring Tina. In the UK store shells left empty as shoppers raced for the last two rolls of food paper and Costa. Nearly everyone we met coming in out of the supermarkets as they are here to stock up on supplies one woman says. 48 hours ago she didn't really think about it. Now with all of this new news coming out the new numbers she is worried she is for little kids he's worried about. Another man says he as a three year old at home he wants to make sure she stays safe he's been to four other supermarkets. Zero toilet paper. And even though Europe's open borders are tightening and may be too late to keep the rate of infection low everywhere else. UK's Health Minister announced last night she too was infected with the virus tweeting. More worried about my 84 year old mom was staying Whitney and began with the croft today she's being tested tomorrow. China's lockdown measures seem to have worked infections there are dropping but only after a month of keeping millions under strict quarantine. But Italy in other countries don't have the luxury of time to save their. Aging population. And Maggie ruling joins us now negative situation for many on the ground in Italy is just gut wrenching to health care system there is just extremely strained. Lindsay gut wrenching as a perfect way to describe it the reports we're hearing on the ground they're almost hard to believe it does point it really is being described as an entire health care system. That is on the very brink of collapse and many doctors there are saying now. Are having to approach patients and almost like wartime triage or how to make very difficult life or death decisions we know they're very low on ventilator is right now the government and are you talking about at triage situation having to prioritize how we are going to save the most number of people and it's looking like they may have to prioritize young healthy people which. Lindy we know that could mean another big detriment of people that have preexisting conditions and there's even talk now. A putting in aids limit on who gets an end to leaders of some of these hard hit hospitals potentially an age limit of any young is sixty years old I mean that's like. People's parents can blueprint parents I mean these. Eyes are emotional time not only for people in Italy for the doctors and nurses that are on the front lines having to make these difficult decisions again describing is almost like a war time in some of these hospitals Lindsay is it's hard to believe area and mega we've heard from that doctor you've also traveled to some of those hot zones in Asia yourself should it really be a warning to the US. Clinton this is really the big take a winner and I'm many infectious disease experts are saying that pleases. Electing UK like the US they're just two to three weeks out from becoming Italy you know I was in Italy a little over a month ago when they have one of their first scares and deceit what is happening to that country can't find to six weeks since then. It's it's unbelievable there is no other word to describe to people kept saying how could happen here in Europe and that's what's fueling this atmosphere here throughout the country which country is going to be next but we also were in Japan recently in other countries an agent when I was in Japan what I noticed was that. So many people we're taking this incredibly seriously already practicing things like social distancing insight I self isolation as well as you know sort of a very proper self hygiene is well and we've seen some of the cases in pleases and Asia plateau or even start to decline many experts are accrediting these services that people are doing so if there's any major take away that we can learn from these other countries it's now is the time to act now is it time to take it seriously before it it's as bad as trees like Italy and mind okay are manually reporting from London for us tonight Maggie thanks so much.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.