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IN NUMBERS: Is it too soon for Italy to relax its coronavirus restrictions?

Posted by on April 23, 2021 0


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As Italy’s government prepares to begin easing the strict coronavirus measures in place across the country, here’s what the latest health data tells us.

Italy last week unveiled plans to begin relaxing restrictions from the end of April. The news came as a relief to many – not least the business owners who’ve been protesting about the economic impact of the country’s prolonged shutdown. But many in the country have questioned whether it’s really safe to do so yet amid a still-high infection rate and a sluggish vaccine rollout.

The government insisted it was taking a “calculated risk” as it announced the reopening. However, some health experts warned on Monday that reopening too much too soon would risk triggering a new wave that could mean closures during the summer tourist season.  “This is a very delicate phase. If the curve starts rising again, we’re risking the summer season,” Dr Nino Cartabellotta, president of the Gimbe foundation for evidence-based medicine, told Italian Radio Cusano Campus on Monday.

He stressed that the government’s plan relied heavily on the public following the rules, particularly on masks and social distancing. And, with many older and more vulnerable people still not vaccinated in Italy, doctors have warned of the risks if infections were to rise again following a relaxation of the rules. Medical workers’ unions last week wrote to the government to urge caution, saying “any premature relaxation of restrictions could put the lives of Covid-19 patients at great risk”.

“A slowdown of the restrictions will only be possible if daily infections remain below 5,000 cases, while maintaining a large capacity for testing, and resuming contact tracing to control the spread of the epidemic,” their recommendation read.  The number of new cases nationwide is currently at around 15,000 daily.

Source: DJNTLOADED

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