Italy’s government strengthens its protective measures against Covid-19

Annalisa Silvestri, Doctor anaesthetist

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Italy ramped up coronavirus restrictions in Tuscany and four other regions, effective on Wednesday, to rein in the second wave of the pandemic, a health ministry source said on Monday.

The health ministry said Monday that Italy has registered 25,271 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. That was down by around 7,000 from the number of new cases on Sunday, although only 147,725 swabs were performed, some 43,000 fewer than the previous day. The number of new cases reported on Mondays is usually lower than for other days of the week because fewer tests are done on Sundays.

The ratio of positive cases to the total number of swabs taken was 17.1%.

Tuscany, which includes the cities of Florence and Siena; Liguria; Abruzzo; Umbria and the southern Basilicata region are designated as ‘orange zones’ where bars and restaurants are closed but shops remain open. People are free to move within their towns and cities but not leave them.

The zoning depends on factors such as local infection rates and hospital occupancy. Milan and most of the industrial north are part of the ‘red zone’ under a partial lockdown. The northern province of Bolzano will be added into the red zone, the source added. The southern regions of Puglia and Sicily were already part of the orange zone.

On Monday Filippo Anelli, the president of the Italian federation of medical guilds (FNOMCEO), has called for Italy to be put into a “total lockdown throughout the country”. In a Facebook post, Anelli said the national health system cannot cope with the rising number of COVID-19 cases and warned Italy could suffer 10,000 more deaths in a month.