On March 9th Italy recorded 1797 new cases and overtook South Korea for most SARS-CoV-2 infections outside China. Italy now has 152 cases per 1 million population (152 ppm) and the situations looks very grim indeed.

South Korea infection rate is similar at 146 ppm, but is on a different trajectory with daily new cases declining over the last week.

Italy put a whole region in quarantine yesterday, prohibiting people from leaving and entering Lombardy, affecting some 16 million people.

At the same time a pre-print publication suggest that individual quarantine and concact tracing through active monitoring is sufficient only if >75% of contacts are put in individual quarantine, and in settings where this is not achievable other (scalable) measures must be considered, such as social distancing; in other words general mass quarantine where all public interactions are reduced to an absolute minimum needed for society to function.

Italy will most likely need to implement even more severe restrictions to limit the infection rate, something that will have profound effects on its economy. If the trajectory continues, Italy will have close to 30,000 cases on March 16th, and may in fact already be committed to this scenario.