Italy, the first European country to be severely affected by COVID-19 disease in the spring, managed to keep the epidemic under control before the beginning of summer due to severe home isolation restrictions imposed for two months, but is experiencing an exponential increase of cases in the last two weeks.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, quoted by Il Mesaggero, says the authorities have a view of a so-called “scenario 3”, which could include “measures such as interruption of particularly risky activities, the possibility of staggering school classes, strengthening telework, decongesting transport” . The new set of measures is taken into account after the number of daily illnesses exceeded 22,000 in Italy
Public transport in Italy is increasingly considered by experts and policy makers as one of the areas with the highest risk of infection with the new coronavirus, in the context in which the government in Rome is trying to cope with an increase in the number of COVID cases. -19, informs Reuters taken over by Agerpres.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte imposed new restrictions on bars, schools and restaurants, but critics of the strategy he said say crowded buses and subway trains at rush hour are a greater danger.
During the summer, when infection rates were still low, the government required buses and subways to operate at a maximum capacity of 80 percent. However, not enough controls are being done to enforce this limit, which experts consider too permissive anyway.
” Eighty percent is too much. Sometimes it is impossible to maintain a safe distance of at least one meter between passengers, Massimo Andreoni, a professor of infectious diseases at Tor Vergata University in Rome, told Reuters.
Italy, the first European country to be severely affected by COVID-19 disease in the spring, has managed to keep the epidemic under control before the beginning of summer due to severe home isolation restrictions imposed for two months, but is experiencing an exponential increase of cases in the last two weeks, the daily balance of infections reaching almost 22,000 cases on Tuesday.
” At 18:00, public transport is usually crowded. You take the risk because you have to get to work. Wear a mask, you have disinfectant gel with you. It is the new normality “, said Elio Venafro after getting off a bus in the center of Rome on Wednesday.
Giuseppe Conte said this week that he believes public transport is “above all” a space where the infection circulates.
However, the Italian prime minister gave no indication that he would like to address the issue directly, saying instead that restrictions on bars, restaurants, gyms and other activities would reduce bus use and of the subway.
Matteo Salvini, leader of the opposition right-wing Liga party, said on Monday: “The problem is public transport, the problem is the metro in Rome and Milan, it is the buses, not the fitness and cinema halls.”
The second wave of the pandemic in Italy is concentrated in major cities, including the financial capital in the north of the country, Milan, and Naples in the south.
“In big cities, congested public transport is obviously a more serious problem than in small cities,” said Professor Andreoni.