In the context in which Italy registers between 30,000 and 40,000 new cases of COVID-19 daily, the country’s health system is under strong pressure. Intensive care units are operating at full capacity in several regions and may soon be unable to cope with the large number of patients. Some hospitals are forced to reschedule operations for other health reasons.

The situation is largely out of control, Professor Massimo Galli, head of the Infectious Diseases Unit at Sacco Hospital in Milan (north), the capital of Lombardy, the hardest hit region, told RAI on Monday.

Rescue queues and personal cars carrying COVID-19 patients have formed at hospitals in Naples, which is a red zone.

Italy, the first European country affected by COVID-19, has registered more than 935,000 cases since February, of which 41,000 were fatal.

To try to quell the second wave of the pandemic, the government has decided to classify the regions into three categories, depending on the severity of the situation. Four regions are currently in the red zone, where strict isolation is applied. Two others are in the orange area and the rest in the yellow area.

The National Federation of the Order of Physicians considers these measures to be insufficient. The president of this body, Filippo Anelli, demands a total isolation of the country.