(ROME) The Italian government is expected to announce on Friday that a large part of the country will be re-contained from Monday, leading to the closure of schools, bars and restaurants in order to stem a third pandemic wave that threatens to saturate hospitals.
On Friday, the government of Mario Draghi, in the Council of Ministers, adopted new measures to combat Covid-19 for the period from Monday, March 15 to April 6, and in particular decided that regions that record more than 250 new cases per week will automatically move. To the red (the highest level of risk corresponds to the most stringent restrictions).
Classification in the red zone, according to the color code in effect for several months, leads to the closure of schools, colleges and universities, as well as bars and restaurants except for outside orders. Travel is restricted to work requirements, purchases of basic necessities, and health emergencies.
In addition, for the Easter holidays (3, 4 and 5 April), the entire peninsula will automatically be classified as “red”.
Italy, which this week crossed the mark of 100,000 deaths due to the epidemic, has recorded a sharp rise in infections and deaths, largely due to the British alternative. On Thursday, authorities reported 26,000 new cases and 373 deaths in 24 hours.
According to the new rules established, the large northern regions – Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna – as well as Lazio (region of Rome) and Calabria must pass in the red zone, thus joining the southern regions of Campania, Basilicata and Molise.
District classification will be announced by color later in the afternoon.
For health research firm GIMBE, the increase in the number of new cases observed over a period of three weeks “confirms the start of the third wave” of COVID-19.
According to its head, Nino Cartabellotta, in more than half of the 20 Italian regions, “hospitals and particularly intensive care units are already saturated” and interventions in hospital or other than COVID-19 are being programmed.
The tough new nationwide restrictions will deal another blow to the eurozone’s third-largest economy, which has fallen into a severe recession due to containment in 2020. But according to a poll published by the Daily newspaper at the end of last week. Corriere della Sera44% of Italians support it, compared to 30% just two weeks ago.
Italy began its vaccination plan at the end of December, but deliveries have slowed dramatically since then, and only 1.8 million people – out of a population of 60 million – have so far received two doses of the vaccine.
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