Venice canal water appears clear, fish visible as people shelter from coronavirus

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Gondolas are moored in Venice, Italy, Monday, March 9, 2020. Italy took a page from China’s playbook Sunday, attempting to lock down 16 million people — more than a quarter of its population — for nearly a month to halt the relentless march of the new coronavirus across Europe. Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte signed a quarantine decree early Sunday for the country’s prosperous north. Areas under lockdown include Milan, Italy’s financial hub and the main city in Lombardy, and Venice, the main city in the neighboring Veneto region. (Anteo Marinoni/LaPresse via AP)

VENICE (AP) – With Italy in lockdown in response to the coronavirus, Venice canals were virtually clear of boats, leaving the water transparent enough that fish could be seen.

Since the traffic of ferry-boats, motorboats and big ships has been strongly reduced both in the Venice lagoon and in the city canals, Venetians had the pleasant surprise to see the water of their canals turning from muddy to crystal clean, with the fish and the bottom clearly visible.

Several decades have passed since Venetians were used to swimming in the lagoon water, mainly because of the intensified ferry-boats and motorboats traffic in the canals and the increasing volume of giant ships, both commercial and touristic, stopping at the Terminal Venice Passengers dock.

Italy on Sunday reported its biggest day-to-day increase in infections – 3,590 more cases in a 24-hour period – for a total of almost 24,747.

And 368 more deaths brought its toll to 1,809, more than a quarter of the global death toll.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough.

For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus.

According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

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