Friday March 12th 2021
Red alert until after Easter
Italy goes into third lockdown
This week, Italy passed the 100,000 corona death mark. The infection numbers are also looking bleak: “Unfortunately, we are dealing with a new wave,” said the new Prime Minister Draghi. For this reason, schools, universities, cafes and restaurants will be closed in many places until after Easter.
Italy is pulling the emergency brake due to another drastic increase in the number of infections: From Monday the country will enter the third lockdown. “Unfortunately we are dealing with a new wave of infections,” said the new Prime Minister Mario Draghi when visiting a vaccination center at Fiumicino Airport in Rome. There were more than 150,000 new infections within a week, an increase of around 20,000 compared to the previous week. “These numbers force us to exercise extreme caution in order to limit the number of deaths and prevent overloading of the health facilities.”
The head of the Gimbe research center, Nino Cartabellotta, warned on Thursday that the increase in Covid cases in recent weeks indicated the “beginning of the third wave” of the epidemic in Italy. The government in Rome then decided on measures that should remain in force until April 6th. This includes that regions with an incidence value of 250 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week automatically switch to the highest red alert – regardless of other measured values such as the reproductive value (R value).
For the time being, according to the Italian Ministry of Health, the tightening applies to the capital Rome, the financial metropolis of Milan and a number of other regions and areas. Red alert means that schools, colleges, cafes and restaurants will be closed there. Only out-of-home sales are allowed. The sale of all non-urgently needed products will be stopped. People are only allowed to move within their region. Exceptions apply for work or in emergencies. Visits are only allowed once a day and a maximum of two to another household.
Italy closes over Easter
The government has already set a nationwide red alert for the Easter weekend. The reopening of the cinemas and theaters, which is planned for March 27 in the current Corona decree, is also on the brink.
I am aware that today’s measures will have an impact on children’s education, the economy and also on the mental state of all of us, “said Prime Minister Draghi. But they are necessary so that the situation does not get worse. In Parliament Draghi wanted to enable more corona aid in addition to the already existing 32 billion euros with a deviation from the budget.
In Italy, the mark of 100,000 corona deaths was exceeded this week. Recently, the number of infections rose sharply again, among other things because of the spread of the British corona mutant. 26,000 new infections and 373 deaths were recorded on Thursday. So far, 1.8 million of the approximately 60 million inhabitants of Italy have received both doses of the anti-corona vaccination.