Six prison inmates were reported dead from the riots that broke out at prisons across Italy after authorities suspended all visits.
Trouble began in the northern city of Modena after inmates at the Sant’Anna prison were told that all visits had been suspended.
Three people were reported to have died at the prison, while a further three died after being transferred from there.
It is thought that at least two of the dead lost their lives to drug overdoses after they raided a prison hospital for the heroin substitute methadone.
At San Vittore prison in Milan, detainees set fire to a cell block on one of the facility’s six wings, then climbed onto the roof through windows and started waving banners, officials said.
Italy’s Ansa news agency said a prison in the southern city of Foggia, about 20 inmates managed to break out of the building during protests. Many were quickly recaptured, there were also riots at several other prisons in northern Italy and at facilities in Naples and the capital, Rome. On Monday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the government would pump in more money to mitigate the impact of the outbreak.
He also said Italy would overcome the virus if people followed the rules, adding that the sacrifices required were for the good of all.