The Sun will reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

An Italian doctor working on the frontline has told RTE News of the coronavirus outbreak in his country has warned Irish people that they will need to totally change their lifestyles if coronavirus is to be controlled.

He said school closures initially did not work in his country, and more extreme measures had to be taken because people failed to heed advice to distance themselves from others.

Dr Giovanni Guaraldi, an infectious disease specialist working in Modena in northern Italy, has been telling RTÉ’s This Week programme that there are many lessons Ireland can learn from the experience of Italy.

He said doctors in Italy have learned that coronavirus is very easily acquired in the community and public health officials need to be prepared to communicate properly with people about how to slow its spread.

According to the latest tally yesterday, there have been 1,441 deaths in Italy due to Covid-19, and more than 21,000 people there have tested positive.

Dr Guaraldi said: “Initially people do not really understand the message. We closed the schools but still people were gathering with one another.

“We had to take extreme measures, for example now you cannot walk near another person, they stop you and tell you, you need to stay at home.

“We need to be clear, the only way to protect against the spread of the epidemic is stay at home and try not to meet other people.

“This is a very difficult message to tell people, but we also need to explain to people that they must not be scared and in time this epidemic will be over.

“We are near the summer time and of course the sun will reduce the transmission of this disease. We are able to control this issue with the right measures.”