Italy’s COVID-19 Rt number steady at 1.16

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(ANSA) – ROME, MAR 19 – Italy’s COVID-19 Rt reproduction
number was steady at 1.16 in the latest weekly coronavirus
monitoring report of the health ministry and the Higher Health
Institute (ISS), the same as in last week’s report, sources said
on Friday ahead of the report’s release.
    An Rt number over 1 indicates that the epidemic is expanding.
    The average nationwide Rt had been on an upward trend for many
weeks, with infection rising with the spread of more contagious
variants of COVID-19, above all the British one.
    The latest monitoring report said that pressure on the health
service has increased sharply.
    It said that proportion of intensive-care beds occupied by
COVID-19 patients rose to 36% in the period from March 12 to 18,
up from 31% the previous week and well above the critical
threshold of 30%.
    It said 13 of Italy’s regions/autonomous provinces were above
the 30% mark, up from 11 in the last report.
    Furthermore, the incidence of cases in a week has risen to 264
for every 100,000 inhabitants from 225.64 the previous week.
    As a result, the report said to impose the “maximum level of
mitigation” in terms of restrictions aimed at prevention
    The government has tightened restrictions, with about half of
the country currently classed as a high-contagion risk red zone
and in lockdown.
    Tuscany looks likely to be classed as red next week given its
latest contagion data.
    Calabria and Val d’Aosta risk being bumped up to red too.


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