Source: Rome – France Press
On Friday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte refused to submit to business pressure and decided to extend the closure measures that expire on April 13 to May 3.
Conte’s decision came after the death toll from his country’s official death toll from the deadly new Corona Virus jumped to 18,849 deaths after recording 570 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Italy recorded a greater death toll than any other country, but the daily death rate is now lower than it was a few weeks ago.
Italian media reported that business associations in the regions responsible for about 45 percent of Italy’s production, in which about 80 percent of deaths were recorded as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic caused by the Corona virus, sent a letter to Conte warning him of their inability to pay salaries if the closure continued.
But Conte said that Italy could not tolerate another increase in infections and needed to exercise maximum caution in dealing with the deadly epidemic.
He said in a televised speech: “We all think I have run out of patience to continue life again.”
He added that extending the closing period for another three weeks “is a difficult but necessary decision, and I bear full political responsibility for it.”
Conte’s decision came after consultations with scientists and representatives of various trade unions that saw conflicting visions and ideas coming out.
“Stop until May 3,” wrote La Stampa, while Corriere della Sera, the country’s most popular newspaper, titled “Italy is closed until May 3”.
“The deadline to remember for the Italians is May 4: On this day if everything is fine, the controls that force millions of people to stay in their homes can be eased,” Corriere della Sera wrote.
But she said, “Older and more vulnerable people should be protected for a longer period.”
According to the media, some very few exceptions to stop activities that are deemed non-essential and valid until April 13 will be granted as of that date.
For its part, Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamborghese announced that the police barriers will be strengthened during the Easter period to prevent the Italians from moving without good reason, in the context of combating the Covid-19 epidemic.
“During Easter, we must all stay at home for the safety of us and the safety of our relatives, and to allow Italy to return to normalcy as soon as possible,” the minister said in an interview published in the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
The authorities allow exit only for work or health reasons.