Coronavirus: Kiwi woman in Italy says country's lockdown began far too late

A Kiwi journalist residing in Italy amid the country's devastating outbreak of COVID-19 says the nationwide lockdown should have been implemented weeks ago.

Annabella Garwood says residents in the northern Italian town of Reggio Emilia were still hugging, kissing and going out in crowds while the area was in a red zone, mere days before the unprecedented, stringent lockdown measures were announced.

"It was a completely different picture two-and-a-half weeks ago," Garwood told The AM Show on Wednesday.

"Rules are now as they should be, but they should have been in place weeks ago."

Kiwis are now preparing for lockdown following the country's transition to a level four alert. Schools and non-essential businesses have been closed, the country's case total continuing to climb to a staggering 155 as of Tuesday.

In Italy, a further 743 people have died in the last 24 hours. The country's death toll now stands at 6820, the COVID-19 case total standing at at 69,176.

Watch the video above.

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