Gingrich speaks from Italy amid coronavirus lockdown: People showing 'remarkable' discipline

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Monday was astonished by Italy’s “remarkable” response to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Italians are more disciplined today than I have ever read about since the Roman Empire,” Gingrich told “Fox & Friends.”

Gingrich described that Italian citizens have to stand outside a store while keeping a safe physical distance from each other, as others head in first to shop.

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“Their stores are not empty, they are fully loaded, they have none of these problems of empty shelves, they’ve done a very disciplined, good job at that.”

The number of coronavirus cases in Italy surged higher Sunday, with the nation described as the pandemic's epicenter in Europe recording over 3,500 cases in its largest single-day increase of infections to date.

Italy’s Civil Protection chief Angelo Borrelli announced the 3,590 new COVID-19 cases topped the previous day’s increase by nearly 100. The total number of cases jumped to over 24,700.

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The number of deaths increased Sunday by 368 to 1,809.

It is not known if Italy is reaching its peak and might start seeing the number of new cases decline, the nation’s national health institute chief, Silvio Brusaferro, said.

The Italian government placed the entire country on lockdown last week to slow the outbreak’s spread. Schools, restaurants and cafes have been closed, while all public Masses were canceled. Citizens largely have remained indoors.

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Gingrich said that Italy has a “decent health system" but no country would be fully prepared for the "scale" of cases that have overwhelmed their hospitals.

Gingrich went on to say, “Northern Italy is a unique epicenter for what’s happening right now with that virus. It’s still going up, people are still dying and it’s a serious, serious problem.”

U.S. officials have warned in recent days that the country must take drastic measures, implementing social distancing, closing schools and canceling large gatherings in an attempt to avoid the huge spike in serious coronavirus cases that Italy has experienced in recent weeks.

Fox News’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.