New restrictions in sight for Italy

Rome, March 9 : A new round of restrictions was in sight in Italy as the country's coroanvirus death toll has topped the 100,000 mark.

In the last 24 hours, the country, one of the hardest-hit in Europe, reported 318 new fatalities, which increased the overall death toll to 100,103, the highest in the European Union (EU) and second-largest in the continent after the UK, reports Xinhua news agency.

In the same period, an 13,902 people tested positive for the virus, pushing the caseload to 3,081,368, according to the Health Ministry.

Active infections now stand at 472,533, confirming a decreasing trend that started in January.

Nonetheless, health authorities were on high alert about a rising curve in recent weeks, mainly due to the spread of the virus variants.

According to the latest assessment by the National Health Institute (ISS), the variant first identified in the UK now accounted for some 54 per cent of all active cases in Italy.

Also on Monday, more regions became orange or red zones, which, in the three-tier system implemented in November 2020, means they are considered at medium or high risk for infections, and subjected to tight restrictions on movement and business activities.

Out of the country's 20 regions and autonomous provinces, only six are currently yellow (low risk) and one was white (lowest risk), while the rest are either orange or red.

Due to the grim situation, some regions again closed down lower secondary and high schools to slow down the contagion.

Last week the scientific-technical committee (CTS) which advises the Italian cabinet warned that a lockdown should be imposed if more than 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants were registered within 24 hours.

As of Monday, over 5.5 million people have been administered coronavirus vaccines in Italy, and 1.69 million had received both jabs, according to government data.



Source: IANS