He Italian government prepares a package of measures to face the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, including the mandatory nature of the use of mask outdoors, a norm that is already in force in some of the regions like Lazio or Sicilia by decision of the local authorities.
This was revealed by the Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, during his appearance before the Chamber of Deputies to report on the new Executive decree. “Italy is among the European countries, along with Germany, that is better reacting to this second wave,” defended the minister, stressing that “it would be wrong to think that we are out.”
“It would be an unfounded assessment,” Speranza insisted, stressing that “for nine weeks there has been a trend of increasing infections “ and none of the regions “can feel out of danger for the whole country”, since now the pandemic is not so focused on specific regions.
Therefore, he explained that in the new decree “we value the extension of the obligation of the mask also outdoors”, in addition to requesting the extension of the state of health emergency until January 31. Speranza has stressed that “masks are the first essential instrument when we meet people with whom we do not live.”
In addition, he has said that the Government is also working to “increase the levels of control of meetings” since these “are a real risk that we cannot afford “and has taken the opportunity to ask citizens to respect the” essential rules “such as washing hands and wearing a mask.
On the other hand, it has assessed the impact that the reopening of educational centers has had on the epidemiological situation. Thus, he affirmed that although it is still “early” to be able to make a definitive assessment, “the first data indicate a low impact”. Speranza has recognized that “there are cases” but the protocols that have been established together with the regions “are solid and if they are respected with vigor, they can allow us to win the game.”
Setback in parliament
The Government has run into a setback in the Chamber of Deputies, as the necessary quorum was not achieved to be able to hold a vote on the decree. The president on duty, Ettore Rosato, has indicated that eight deputies were missing.
Among those absent, some 40 parliamentarians of the majority, in isolation due to contact with people with covid-19, which has generated criticism from the leader of the opposition, Matteo Salvini. “Majority in disarray, litigant and absent, even when talking about the virus,” commented the leader of the League. Brothers of Italy and Forza Italia have also demanded that the prime minister appear before the Lower House.
Thus, according to the ADNKronos agency, the council of ministers scheduled for this afternoon to seal the decree is now expected to be postponed until tomorrow, although Conte could sign a ‘bridge decree’ that allows the measures that expired this Wednesday to be extended.
Meanwhile, health authorities have reported another 2,677 infections and 28 deaths in the last day, bringing the total balance of the pandemic to 330,263 cases and 36,030 deaths. In addition, almost 100,000 tests have been carried out in the last 24 hours.
On the other hand, there are already 234,099 people who have managed to overcome COVID-19 in the country, another 1,418 more in the last day, while there are currently 319 patients admitted to the ICU, four less than on Monday.