Local and regional politicians across Italy have expressed outrage over Rome’s decision to single out certain areas and designate them Covid-19 red zones, as the country fights to control the spread of the virus.
The government has announced that four regions – Calabria, Lombardy, Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta – will be designated coronavirus red zones and face partial shutdowns, as part of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s plan to combat soaring case numbers.
Two other regions, Puglia and Sicily, will be labelled as orange zones, having some restrictions imposed upon them, while 14 regions will remain listed as yellow zones, where they face only minimal measures.
Lombardy Governor Attilio Fontana called the government’s decision “a slap in the face” to the region, calling for the PM to wait several days first to see if last month’s measures have brought case numbers under control.
While Lombardy is registering the highest number of daily cases in the country, regularly exceeding 7,000, Calabria hasn’t been impacted as severely, reporting 262 infections on Wednesday. However, the Italian government fears that hospitals in the region couldn’t manage a serious outbreak. Calabria’s acting governor, Nino Spirli, warned that the decision to impose further restrictions “could be fatal” to the area’s economy.
Despite the criticism, the Italian government has stood by the new measures. Announcing the restrictions on Wednesday, Health Minister Roberto Speranza stated that, while “these choices will mean sacrifices and difficulties,” they must be implemented, as they are “the only way to bend the curve.”
On Thursday, Italy reported its highest ever single day of new coronavirus cases, recording 34,505 additional infections, along with 445 deaths – the first time that figure has risen above 400 since May 2. Since the start of the pandemic, the country has experienced a total of 824,879 cases and 40,192 deaths due to the virus.
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