Coronavirus Outbreak: Italy may relax lockdown measures by April end if spread of COVID-19 continues to slow, says PM Giuseppe Conte
Rome: Italy may start gradually lifting some restrictions in place to contain the new coronavirus by the end of April, provided the spread of the disease continues to slow, prime minister Giuseppe Conte told the BBC on Thursday.
“We need to pick sectors that can restart their activity. If scientists confirm it, we might begin to relax some measures already by the end of this month,” Conte told the British broadcaster.
Conte warned, however, that Italy could not lower its guard and restrictions would only be eased gradually.
There were 542 deaths from COVID-19 in Italy on Wednesday, lower than the 604 the day before, taking the total death toll to 17,669.
There were 3,693 people in intensive care, down from 3,792 on Tuesday, the fifth daily decline in a row.
The decline has raised hopes the virus is on the retreat thanks to a nationwide lockdown, though the number of new cases rose 3,836, compared with 3,039 on Tuesday, to reach 139,422, the third highest globally behind the United States and Spain.
Italy imposed the nationwide lockdown on 9 March. Two weeks later, Conte announced that non-essential businesses, including car, clothing and furniture manufacturing, would have to close.
Businesses in the country’s northern industrial heartland have been urging the government to let them reopen factories to prevent an economic catastrophe, even though the north is the area worst hit by the coronavirus.
Branches of employers lobby group Confindustria representing the northern regions of Lombardy, Veneto, Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna, which account for 45 percent of Italy’s economic output, called on the government on Wednesday to set out a “roadmap” for a return to work.
Updated Date: Apr 09, 2020 17:38:20 IST
Why social distancing is still the most effective non-pharmaceutical intervention for COVID-19
Studies suggest even mild symptoms of COVID-19 can cause severe damage to lungs, heart and brain
COVID-19 Treatment: Bemcentinib, Heparin and 3 other drugs to be tested by UK in their ACCORD programme
Hydroxychloroquine sustained dose and PPE can reduce COVID-19 risk in healthcare workers, ICMR study says
COVID-19 Testing: Gold nanoparticle-based test kit can give results within 10 minutes
New French study suggests 10% of diabetes patients who contract COVID-19 die within a week
Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: 2,091 people test positive for COVID-19 in Maharashtra today; confirmed cases rise to 54,758 in state
Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: 459 people test positive for COVID-19 in Pune today, total number of cases rises to 6,153
Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: Gujarat BJP MLA Balram Thawani tests positive for COVID-19; 423 new cases reported in state today
Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: Mumbai reports 1,382 new COVID-19 cases; confirmed infections rise to 25,317
Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: Junior assistant in Delhi LG's office tests positive for COVID-19; samples from 40 staff members taken
Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: Film producers' association writes to Uddhav Thackeray requesting resumption of film and TV shoots