New restrictive measures in Italy

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In Italy on the hardest day since the beginning of the emergency, with 627 new victims in 24 hours, the government gives a further crackdown on the restrictive measures adopted now two weeks ago throughout Italy to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus: closed from tomorrow parks, historic villas, playgrounds for children and public gardens, sports allowed but only near the house, stop to any outdoor recreational and recreational activity.

It is the daily war bulletin that has accelerated the choices of the executive, who would have liked to wait at least for the weekend – on Sunday the two weeks indicated by scientists expire to see if the measures taken have produced the expected effects – before intervene again.

The numbers are now impressive: in the last 48 hours 9,150 people have fallen ill and the victims have been over a thousand. Across the country there are 37,860 men, women and children with the virus, 2,655 of them in intensive care. But not only: 3,359 patients, just under 10% are doctors; since Thursday they have increased by 659 units. And then there is a ‘political’ assessment that weighed on the decisions: several Regions had moved and continue to move independently, preparing measures in a random order. A confusion that certainly does not help in an already complex moment. This was also underlined by the Minister for Autonomies Francesco Boccia announcing that the call for recruiting 300 doctors to be sent to the most affected regions is online and that several dozen have already given their availability: “the ordinances, if they are not homogenized with the indications of the state, should not be done. We must wait for the government, which from the first moment is working to homogenize the measures more and more ».

The new provision is in an order signed by Health Minister Roberto Speranza. In addition to the closure of parks and gardens, and the limitations to physical activity – allowed «individually and in the vicinity of one’s home, while respecting the distance of one meter from each other person» – it aims to prevent citizens on weekends or in view of Easter move to the second houses: “on holidays and on holidays, and in those that precede or follow them, it is forbidden to move to homes other than the main one”, including holiday homes.

The new squeeze does not include a reduction in the opening hours of supermarkets or the closing of those in shopping malls, hypothesized at first and criticized by Matteo Renzi. It was estimated that closing essential shops or reducing their opening hours would have caused greater gatherings during the other days and, therefore, would have had a counterproductive effect. Instead, food and drink stores in stations and ports and in service areas will be closed except for those on motorways.

The government has not foreseen for the moment a tightening of sanctions for those who violate the bans, even if 9,600 people have been reported in the last 24 hours, the new record since the entry into force of the measures. But the police chief Franco Gabrielli insists on this and it is not excluded that action will be taken in the coming days: article 650 of the penal code, the one that introduces sanctions for those who violate the containment measures provided for by government decrees, he says, “in this moment is absolutely insufficient “,” more effective sanctions are needed. The things we are seeing give us a country that is partly attentive and respectful, making sacrifices, and partly living a second life, a condition of absolute light-heartedness that is insulting towards doctors, nurses and those who are waging a battle against death ».

A struggle whose end is not yet seen, as admitted by the head of the Civil Protection Angelo Borrelli and the geriatrician and member of the technical scientific committee Roberto Bernabei. “We will never know when the peak will be, there is no scientific data,” said the first, while Bernabei did not rule out that the containment measures may last a long time, even until the summer. “Everything is possible”.

The only news that leaves a little hope, therefore, is that for the moment the infection is contained in the center. There is therefore no exponential growth. “Containment measures are starting to work – says Bernabei again – something comparable to what happened in the center north has not happened”. It is no small thing, in daily warfare.

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