'No more lockdowns': Italy to stay open despite rise in cases

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'No more lockdowns': Italy to stay open despite rise in cases
Italy's health minister, Roberto Speranza, is interviewed in June. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP

This article is from August 2020 and is now out of date.


A better-prepared health service means that even as the number of new coronavirus cases continues to soar, Italy will not bring back the lockdown measures it imposed this spring, its health minister said on Sunday.
“We will not have a new lockdown,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza told the La Stampa newspaper in an interview published on Sunday, arguing that the situation Italy faces today is different from that it faced in February and March, when the disease was spreading out of control. 
"I am optimistic, although prudent. Our national health service has become much stronger."
He said that Italy has doubled the number of beds in intensive care since March. 
The message was reinforced by Sandra Zampa, undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, who explaimed "No more lockdowns!", in an interview with Corriere della Sera
"We have now seen that no country can afford to close everything altogether," she added. "The absence of bans gives citizens even greater responsibility".


But she said that the ministry might be willing to impose heavy restrictions on towns or areas suffering major outbreaks. 
“This is probable, but not the blockade of entire regions," she said. "It is different to circumscribe an outbreak or restricted area."
Italy on Saturday reported 1,071 new coronavirus infections, exceeding 1,000 cases in a day for the first time since the government eased its rigid lockdown measures in May. 
The 215 cases recorded in Rome exceeds even the 208 people infected in a one-day period on March 28, when Rome had come to a virtual standstill to stop the coronavirus spreading. 
But the number of new infections remains lower than those registered in Spain and France, and so far they have not been accompanied by renewed high death tolls. 


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