On Thursday, experts warned in view of the sharp rise in the number of infections that Italy was now in the third wave of the pandemic.
Italy’s Minister of Health Roberto Speranza has announced a corona lockdown for another region of the country. As of Monday, the southern region of Campania will be considered a “red zone” and thus a high-risk area, said Speranza on Friday. In “red zones” bars and restaurants, but also schools, day-care centers and museums have to close. Before Campania, the southern regions of Basilicata and Molise had to impose these restrictions.
The two regions Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Veneto in northeastern Italy have been upgraded from yellow to orange. The holiday island of Sardinia is still Italy’s only low-risk area in the “white” category.
On Thursday, the health think tank Gimbe warned in view of the sharp rise in infection numbers that Italy was now in the third wave of the pandemic. In the week from February 24 to March 2, a third more new infections were registered than in the previous week.
Spread of variant B117
The increase is likely to be related to the spread of the more contagious virus variant initially discovered in Great Britain. The mutant B.1.1.7 is meanwhile “overwhelmingly dominant” in Italy, as the president of the Italian health institute ISS, Silvio Brusaferro, announced.
In Italy, almost 100,000 people have died as a result of a corona infection since the pandemic began. The Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who has been in office since last month, has promised to use “all means” to fight the pandemic.
According to the Ministry of Health in Rome, around five million of the around 60 million inhabitants in Italy have received at least one dose of vaccine to protect against the virus. The number of vaccinations from the current 180,000 per day must be increased significantly to 300,000, said the high-ranking ministry representative Giovanni Rezza.
New infections increase
In Italy, the number of people who died from the coronavirus within a day has fallen again. However, the number of newly infected people rose. On Friday, 297 fatalities were counted within 24 hours, compared to 339 the day before. In addition, there were 24,036 new infections, the previous day there were 22,865, said the Ministry of Health. The total number of people officially infected with Corona has exceeded the three million threshold.
This means that in Italy, where the pandemic had spread in a first big wave since February 2020, there are officially 3.02 million people infected with the virus, reported the German Press Agency (dpa). In Europe, Great Britain, France and Spain had already passed this mark according to figures from Johns Hopkins University (USA).
(APA / AFP)