Wednesday, 21 April, 2021


Entire Italy to Be Declared Red Coronavirus Alert Zone over Easter Holidays

Italy to tighten COVID-19 restrictions Italy’s Draghi pledges vaccine boost as Covid cases surge
Conrad Doyle | 14 March, 2021, 05:59

Rome: Italy PM Mario Draghi has warned of a "new wave" of the coronavirus outbreak following which Shops, restaurants and schools will be closed across most of Italy on Monday.

Schools, restaurants, shops and museums are expected to close from Monday in the majority of regions, after Italy recorded nearly 26,000 new Covid-19 cases and another 373 deaths on Thursday.

"These figure mean we must adopt the utmost caution to limit the number of deaths and stop health facilities being saturated".

He said the figures-showing an nearly 15 percent increase in infections over the past week-required the "utmost caution" to limit deaths and pressure on health services.

He added: "The memory of what happened last spring is vivid, and we will do everything to prevent it from happening again".

Why it matters: This is the second year the country has needed to impose lockdown measures over the Easter holiday due to COVID-19. During the Easter weekend of April 3-5, the whole of Italy will become a red zone. However, any region that reports over 250 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents weekly will automatically be forced into lockdown.

The latest official data is expected later Friday, but figures from the GIMBE think tank published Thursday for the week ending March 9 suggest that most regions will be affected.

On Monday, much of the country, including Rome's region, Lazio, will be put under tougher restrictions on citizens' movements outside the home.

Patients in hospital with Covid-19 - not including those in intensive care - stood at 24,153 on Saturday, up from 23,656 a day earlier.

The inoculation drive saw another setback this week after the use of 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine was halted following the sudden deaths of people in good health in Sicily.

This package of measures, worth 32 billion euros ($38.17 billion), was already budgeted for by the previous government, while Draghi said he would ask parliament in April for authorisation to increase spending further.

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