Italy, the epicenter of Europe’s first coronavirus outbreak, moves to stop second surge

A supply individual passes close to St. Peter’s Basilica, as Italy tightens measures to try to include the unfold of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), in Rome, Italy.

Remo Casilli | Reuters

Italy introduced a raft of new restrictive measures geared toward curbing a second wave of coronavirus instances.

From Monday, native mayors may have the energy to shut public areas, reminiscent of squares and streets, after 9 p.m. so as to restrict public gatherings which have been seen as one of the fundamental causes for a brand new spike in coronavirus infections.

Announcing the new restrictions on Sunday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stated that bars and eating places are allowed to keep open till midnight (however will be closed earlier if native leaders deem that mandatory) if there may be desk service, however should shut at 6 p.m. if not.  Social gatherings in bars and eating places are restricted to six folks per desk.

“We mustn’t waste time,” Conte stated as he introduced the new measures in a televised tackle. “The country can’t allow another lockdown that would severely compromise the entire economy.”

Other measures launched embrace encouraging distance studying for older college students and staggered entry instances to colleges for different pupils. Contact sports activities at an novice degree stay banned, and gymnasiums and leisure services have to adapt to the new measures. Local festivals are banned too.

On Sunday, 11,705 new infections had been reported, up from 10,925 on Saturday and 10,010 the day earlier than that, authorities knowledge exhibits. Italy has recorded 414,241 instances in complete, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University.

Conte stated Sunday the technique being adopted now to curb the unfold of infections “isn’t, and can’t be, the same as the one implemented in spring.|

Then, at the start of the pandemic, Conte said, Italy hadn’t been prepared with enough intensive care equipment and masks, or able to do enough tests. Since then it had procured equipment, produced and distributed millions of masks among students and carried out up to 160,000 tests per day.

Italy was the epicenter of Europe’s initial coronavirus outbreak in February, with the first clusters of cases seen in Lombardy, before spreading to other regions in northern Italy and further afield into the rest of Europe.

Italy was the first half of Europe to introduce an area, then regional and eventually a nationwide lockdown in early March to stop the unfold of the virus, which means that every one however meals retailers and pharmacies closed and folks might solely go away their houses for important causes.

Italy’s economic system has been hit arduous by the lockdown earlier this yr. The International Monetary Fund’s newest financial forecasts predict that Italy’s economic system will contract 10.6%  in 2020.  Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco stated in an interview with Bloomberg Friday that it’s going to take a minimum of two years for the nation’s economic system to get again to pre-Covid ranges.

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