Massive riots broke out in several prisons in Italy over restrictions placed to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus. Violence erupted after prisoners were barred from meeting their loved ones over fears of the spread of COVID-19.

On Sunday, Italy implemented the Chinese model, placing large areas of the country's north in a complete lock-down, after a rapid surge in cases. Outside China, Italy has reported the highest number of COVID-19 fatalities.

Officers taken hostage in prisons

Journalists imprisoned
Representational Image

Violence exploded in Modena prison when inmates were not allowed to meet visitors. Similar violence was reported at jails in Naples Poggioreale in the south, Frosinone in central Italy, and at Alexandria in the northwest, Metro reported.

An unknown number of officers were taken hostage. In Modena prison, an officer is reported to have been injured, while about 20 staff members were forced to leave the prison. A prisoner has been confirmed dead, while some reports have cited multiple fatalities.

Italy plans to quarantine 16 million

Confusion and chaos spread throughout northern Italy after a plan to place large parts of the region was leaked in the press on Saturday. According to the plan, the European nation has placed widespread travel restrictions in its northern regions that have reported the majority of coronavirus cases.

Restrictions have been placed till April 3, which led to panicked citizens fleeing south, leading to the opposite of the results the authorities had hoped for. The northern regions of Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto account for 85 percent of the cases, and more than 90 percent of the deaths.

On Sunday, Italy witnessed a 50 percent increase in the number of fatalities, from 233 to 366, in just 24 hours. As on Monday, the country has reported as many as 7,375 cases and 366 deaths, the highest outside China. Meanwhile, the total number of coronavirus cases from around the world has reached 110,041 along with 3,825 deaths.