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HEALTH

Italy’s Lombardy and Campania regions order tougher anti-virus measures

The Italian region of Lombardy, the first European epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, became the latest to enforce stricter rules as the number of new cases rises locally.

Italy's Lombardy and Campania regions order tougher anti-virus measures
People wearing protective masks in Milan. Photo: AFP

All amateur sporting events have also been put on hold in the wealthy northern region where the first cases of Covid-19 in Europe emerged in February.

Under the new restrictions that will stay in effect until November 6th, bars will after 6pm only be able to serve customers seated at tables, and the sale of takeaway alcohol is also banned after that time.

READ ALSO: Eight charts that show the state of the coronavirus pandemic in Italy

Lombardy, the most populous region of Italy, has also prohibited the consumption of food and drink in all public outside areas under the new rules.

Lombardy, the hardest-hit area in Italy, is mostly targeting young people, with restrictions on sport, nightlife and education — it has now called for schools to alternate online and in-person lessons.

Italy's second-worst affected region of Campania in the south has also introduced new measures, including the controversial closure of schools as well as bans on parties and funeral processions.

The measures in both regions are stricter than those imposed nationwide by Italy's latest emergency decree on Monday.

READ ALSO: What does Italy's new 'rule of six' mean for you?

Italy's government on Saturday is reportedly considering further restrictions, on the advice of its panel of scientific experts.

Italy on Friday reported more than 10,000 new infections in 24 hours as the numbers of new cases, as well as deaths and hospitalisations, continue to .

The government last week also made the wearing of masks compulsory whenever outside the house, and extended the state of emergency until January 31st.

 

 

 

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HEALTH

WHO expects more monkeypox-related deaths in Europe

The World Health Organization's European office said Saturday that more monkeypox-related deaths can be expected, following reports of the first fatalities outside Africa, while stressing that severe complications were still be rare.

WHO expects more monkeypox-related deaths in Europe

“With the continued spread of monkeypox in Europe, we will expect to see more deaths,” Catherine Smallwood, Senior Emergency Officer at WHO Europe, said in a statement.

Smallwood emphasised that the goal needs to be “interrupting transmission quickly in Europe and stopping this outbreak”.

However, Smallwood stressed that in most cases the disease heals itself without the need for treatment.

“The notification of deaths due to monkeypox does not change our assessment of the outbreak in Europe. We know that although self-limiting in most cases, monkeypox can cause severe complications,” Smallwood noted.

The Spanish health ministry recorded a second monkeypox-related death on Saturday, a day after Spain and Brazil reported their first fatalities.

The announcements marked what are thought to be the first deaths linked to the current outbreak outside Africa.

Spanish authorities would not give the specific cause of death for the fatalities pending the outcome of an autopsy, while Brazilian authorities underlined that the man who died had “other serious conditions”.

“The usual reasons patients might require hospital care include help in managing pain, secondary infections, and in a small number of cases the need to manage life-threatening complications such as encephalitis,” Smallwood explained.

According to the WHO, more than 18,000 cases have been detected throughout the world outside of Africa since the beginning of May, with the majority of them in Europe.

The WHO last week declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency.

As cases surge globally, the WHO on Wednesday called on the group currently most affected by the virus — men who have sex with men — to limit their sexual partners.

Early signs of the disease include a high fever, swollen lymph glands and a chickenpox-like rash.

The disease usually heals by itself after two to three weeks, sometimes taking a month.

A smallpox vaccine from Danish drug maker Bavarian Nordic, marketed under the name Jynneos in the United States and Imvanex in Europe, has also been found to protect against monkeypox.

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