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Packed parks, hidden virus Anxiety grows as Italy reopens

MILAN (AP) – No one is satisfied with the gradual reopening of Italy on Monday after six months of blocking the virus. For some it is very careful, for some it is very hasty.

Allowing an open-air dinner is too little, too late, for Italian restaurant owners, whose survival threatens to close again for more than a year. The country’s curfew at 10pm is hampering the reopening of the theater, seen as a bad omen for Italy’s key tourism industry, which hopes the second summer of the epidemic could finally see the return of foreign visitors. The government has also come under increasing pressure to reopen Italy’s right-wing parties.

But the nation’s tired virologists and health workers are worried that even a pre-planned opening by Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government will invite everyone for free, risking a new wave of the virus to the point where the current virus is under real pressure.

“Unfortunately, as I had to repeat often. The virus does not negotiate. Moreover, the virus has managed to adapt, becoming more aggressive and more widespread, “said Professor Massimo Galli from Sacco Hospital in Milan.

In view of what many fear, the Italians were crowded on Sundays, a day before the virus was eased, from the streets, squares and parks from Rome to Turin, from Milan to Naples, as warmer weather pushed the unusually cold spring away.

The Italian Interior Ministry, aware of the risks, instructed law enforcement on Sunday to ensure that social distance and disguise were used so that the easing of restrictions would not lead to a new outbreak of the virus.

Italy has the second highest number of epidemics in Europe after Britain, with more than 119,000 deaths confirmed. And experts say that number is low, as more Italians suspected of having COVID-19 died in the spring of 2020 before being tested.

As of Monday, 15 of Italy’s 21 autonomous provinces had the lowest levels of coronavirus restrictions, and interregional travel was allowed for the first time since the fall. The number of people who can visit friends and family at the same time will double from two to four. Restaurants and bars will be able to accommodate people for outdoor dining. Contact sports can be resumed outdoors.

However, in the last six weeks of the school year, plans to completely reopen Italian high schools were inadequate, with inadequate public transport, forcing at least 70% of upper-class individuals to attend private school.

The four southern regions, Basilicata, Calabria, Puglia, and Sicily, along with little Aosta on the northern French border, remain under severe second-degree viral restrictions.

The Italian island of Sardinia, which is completely free of the only restrictions this winter, sank into the red zone in mid-April after a clear signal from everyone led to a new wave of infections. Sardinia has become a cautionary tale quoted by Italian virologists.

Reopening occurs even when Italian intensive care units remain above the 30% alert threshold. The Italian Vaccine Campaign is also still avoiding its 500,000 daily shots, only now moving to protect people in the 70-79 age group. The World Health Organization says people over the age of 65 make up the vast majority of COVID-19 deaths in Europe.

“There are two words that should guide us in the coming days,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Sunday. “Trust me, because the means have worked և prudence. We have to take one step at a time, be gradual, evaluate evolution day by day. ”


Follow AP epidemic coverage https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic և https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine


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