In early 2020, Italy made the tragic sacrifice of raising the European public’s awareness of the new coronavirus from a “minor cold” to a serious crisis. The country, which was at the forefront of Europe’s outbreak-hit, blockade policy, is about to go into slowdown again from next week due to a more severe variant of the virus.
On March 12, Italy’s Ministry of health announced that, in light of the third wave of the outbreak hitting the country, lockdown restrictions will be reimposed in a large part of the country as of next Monday. Italy’s economically important region of Lombardy, as well as the Lazio region, where the capital Rome is located, will be included in the red zone of the outbreak. The red zone means that there is a high risk of the virus spreading, and most schools, bars, and restaurants in the area will be closed, and people will only be able to travel for work, to purchase daily necessities, or to seek help for urgent health reasons. Others will have to stay at Home and will not be allowed to go out.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office confirmed the new restrictive measures and said they will last until Easter this year, when the entire country fears it will be difficult to avoid an Epidemic that is all but red.
From the beginning of the epidemic last year until now, the death toll in Italy has accumulated more than 100,000 people, and Italy, the third largest economy in the eurozone, has since entered the worst recession since World War II. Vaccinations began in Italy late last year but, like most European countries, faced delays in delivery. In addition, the Italian Health Authority suspended a batch of the AstraZeneca-Oxford New Crown vaccine on Thursday this week due to reports of side effects, although it said there was no link to blood clots that could be proven. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said that about 170,000 doses of the vaccine are currently being used every day in the country, but Italy’s goal, however, is to triple that number to the current level.