Italy Denies New COVID-19 Lockdown
The Italian authorities have ruled out the introduction of a new lockdown due to an increase in the number of cases of the coronavirus. They see the health care system as strong and note that the majority of new infections are noticed in young people who carry the disease easily.
The Italian authorities will not introduce new restrictive measures, despite the increase in the number of cases of coronavirus. “I now rule out the hypothesis of the closure of our country,” Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said in an interview with Bloomberg. “We have few new cases, the situation is under control, and the workload on hospitals is very low,” he said, adding that during the peak of the pandemic in Italy, 4,068 patients were in intensive care units, and as of August 25, there were only 66 of them.
The minister stressed that the Italian health care system has strengthened, testing times have been reduced to a minimum, and testing is carried out, including at airports, for those arriving from high-risk countries. He noted that the average age of people who tested positive last week is 30, and most of them have either mild or no symptoms.
Italy, which has become the epicenter of the spread of COVID-19 in Europe, introduced quarantine measures for three months, which severely damaged the economy. The government forecasts that Italy’s GDP will contract by 8% in 2020, but analysts believe the decline will reach 10%. At that, Speranza insists that economic factors are not the main factor when deciding on the possible introduction of new restrictions. “Winning the battle for health is the key to economic and financial recovery,” he said.
In recent weeks, the number of new cases of coronavirus in Italy has been increasing almost daily, mainly due to Italians returning from vacation. But this growth is not as significant as in other European countries, including Spain, France and Germany.
On August 25, 876 new infections were reported in Italy. The total number of cases, according to Johns Hopkins University, has reached 261,174 people. Of these, 35,445 patients died.