Italy extends state of emergency as Covid-19 deaths exceed 80,000
Rome, Jan 15 (IANS) Italy has extended its state of emergency imposed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic until April 30, the government said in a statement.
This came one day after Italy’s Covid-19 death toll has exceeded the 80,000 mark. The country first declared a national state of emergency due to the pandemic on January 31, 2020, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.
The existing Covid-19 containment measures are also extended to April 30, including a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew and a three-tiered color-coded system that was introduced last year, with varying restrictions according to the rate of transmission of the virus.
The government also introduced a fourth level — white — with very few Covid-19 restrictions, which will correspond to regions with under 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants.
No Italian regions are in the white zone yet. As of the latest order signed by Health Minister Roberto Speranza, most of Italy is now a yellow zone, while five regions are orange.
The government also said that a travel ban between Italy’s 20 regions will remain in place until February 15.
The latest data from the health ministry showed that Italy reported 15,774 new infections and 507 deaths on Wednesday, bring the country’s current active infections to 564,774 and the total number of deaths to 80,326.
As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in Italy and some other countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.
As of Wednesday night, Italy has vaccinated a total of 885,814 people, according to the health ministry.
Meanwhile, 236 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 63 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Tuesday.