The Italian Minister of Health announced on Wednesday that the state of emergency will be extended until April 30 and mobility between regions will also be prohibited in the so-called yellow zone, which until now had minor limitations
Roberto Speranza was in Parliament to announce the new measures that will come into force on January 16 and spoke of a serious situation in the country, with an incidence of infections exceeding 313 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
“We are in the last kilometer of this battle, we need a loyal collaboration, a united effort to fight the virus: the next months will be difficult”, he added, guaranteeing that “the union is the only way to face the biggest sanitary, economic and since the war ”.
Regarding the new measures, in addition to postponing the end of the state of emergency from January 31 to April 30, which will allow the Government to urgently pass decrees, Speranza confirmed that the system of classifying restrictions will continue to place regions by areas yellow, orange and red.
In the yellow zone, those with less restrictions, travel between regions will be prohibited, restaurants and bars will be closed after 18:00, but museums remain open.
Italy will also introduce the so-called white area, with fewer limitations, for regions where the contagion rate is lower and there are only 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
The minister warned that “this week there is a general worsening of the epidemiological situation in Italy, with increases in hospitalizations in intensive care units and unknown outbreaks”.
“Make no mistake: the epidemic has returned to the expansion phase,” he said, referring that 12 regions are at high risk and “they will certainly pass the orange zone”.
Regarding the vaccine, the minister stated that Italy is the European country with the highest number of vaccinations and called for “full institutional collaboration and an end to controversies” on this topic.
Speranza also recalled that the vaccination campaign will be “a long and difficult marathon and not a sprint” and that “there is still a lot to do”, explaining that everything will depend on the increase in the available doses.
According to the minister, the authorization of new vaccines such as Johnson & Johnson should happen in the first quarter, also underlining the “very encouraging” results of the Italian vaccine ReiThera.
“We are working in parallel to organize forces and Italy is prepared to have a strong team: 40,000 doctors will join the effort and pharmacies will also collaborate to supply the vaccines,” he said.
Italy recorded 616 deaths from coronavirus on Monday, reaching almost 80,000 (79,819) deaths, with a further 14,242 new infections.
The Covid-19 pandemic caused at least 1,945,437 deaths resulting from more than 90.8 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.
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