COVID: Utmost caution needed amid new wave says Draghi (5)

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(see related stories on COVID restrictions) (ANSA) – ROME, MAR 12 – Premier Mario Draghi said Friday that
the maximum level of caution was needed after his government
tightened COVID-19-linked restrictions due to a sharp increase
in contagion in Italy.
    “Unfortunately, one year after the start of the emergency, there
is a new wave of contagion,” Draghi said as he visited a
COVID-19 vaccination centre at Fiumicino. airport near Rome.
    “In the last week there have been more than 150,000 infections,
compared to 131,000 the previous week, an increase of almost
5,000 people in hospital and 600 in intensive care.
    “These figure mean we must adopt the utmost caution to limit the
number of deaths and stop health facilities being saturated”.
    Most of Italy is set to be classed as a COViD red zone next
week, meaning non-essential shops must close, bars and
restaurants will only be able to provide takeaway services and
pupils will have lessons via distance learning in these areas.
    “A few days ago I thanked the Italian people for their infinite
patience,” Draghi said.
    “I am aware that today’s measures will have consequences for our
children’s education, for the economy and the psychological
state of all of us.
    “They are necessary to avoid a deterioration of the situation
that would make even more stringent measures inevitable.
    “But these measures are being accompanied by the government’s
support of families and firms and the acceleration of the
vaccination campaign, which on its own gives us hope of emerging
from the pandemic”.
    Draghi said vaccinations would not just be done at hospitals, “but also in companies, in gyms and in car parks like this one
at Fiumicino.
    “In Italy 1694 fixed vaccination sites are already operative and
others will be identified,” he said. (ANSA).
   

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