"In Italy we are on the right road" Health Minister Roberto Speranza said Tuesday as he reported to the Senate on the coronavirus.

"We know the virus more and more and we have adopted territorial prevention measures, in workplaces, as well as safety protocols in hospitals and health facilities", he continued.

"But let's not illude ourselves. There can be no 'zero risk' without a vaccine. Today the number of people to have been infected crossed the 13-million threshold and over half a million have died," Speranza said.

"We cannot lower our guard and we must not be divided about this.

Three essential rules

"There is even legitimate debate within the scientific community before we have a new vaccine. But no one says it is not necessary to wear facemasks, that it is not necessary to respect the minimum distance of one metre or that it is not necessary to respect the hygiene rules, stating with frequently washing one's hands.

These three essential rules can make it possible for us to manage co-existence with the virus", said Speranza. "We have saved thousands of human lives in Italy with the decisions made, preventing the high wave from flooding southern Italy too. We set a course during the storm that was subsequently useful for others and today has been followed almost all over the world."

Not safe yet

"We are out of the most dramatic period but we are not yet safe. The virus continues to circulate, albeit in a less intense form with a prevelence of asymptomatic cases, and we are exposed to the risk of importing COVID from Italians returning from trips abroad and citizens of other countries who arrive or transit in Italy. We began to restart on May 4. The primary measure to revive our economy is to rigorously respect the prevention measures that have been adopted."

Measures extended

On the extension of the containment measures already adopted in the Prime Minister's Decree of 11 June, the minister explained that "To be coherent with this position, the government intends to adopt a new decree that extends the measures currently in force until July 31".

The main ones are the:

  • obligation to wear masks in enclosed spaces;
  • the obligation to respect the safety protocols for the reopening of workplaces:
  • the ban on gathering in big groups;
  • criminal penalties for those who breach quarantine obligations; - the ban on entry or quarantine for people arriving from extra-EU countries and more stringent checks at airports, ports and border areas.

Ban on entry

"The ban on entry or transit in Italy today regards those who, in the previous 14 days, have stayed or transited in 13 countries: Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil Bosnia Herzegovina, Chile, Kuwait, North Macedonia, Moldova, Oman, Panama, Peru and the Dominican Republic.

They are nations with a high virus incidence percentage in relation to the population and very low resilience in terms of prevention and control systems. Flights to and from the countries mentioned in the ordinance have been suspended in order to guarantee an adequate level of health protection. We will constantly update this list on the basis of analysis of the evolution of the data."

Quarantine

"We have upheld 14-day quarantine as a precautionary measure for all arrivals from extra-EU and extra-Schengen countries in order to avoid the spread of contagion. At the moment special attention is being paid to migrant-boat landings on our coasts, with rigorous controls and the obligation of quarantine for all those who arrive."

"No form of underestimation can be allowed”, minister Speranza added.

In parallel with these measures, the government is engaged on four priority fronts every day. These are:

  • the vaccine which, Speranza said, "I reiterate with force must be a right for everyone, a global public good and not a privilege for the few";
  • the COVID hospitals. "I am very pleased to inform parliament that, by the end of next week, the ministry will have finished examining all the projects from the regions for COVID hospitals," the minister said. "These will then be transmitted to the emergency commissioner for all the necessary measures for their rapid realization to be put into practice, with extraordinary procedures";
  • increase health personnel and reinforce the territorial network. "It is an unprecedented job," he added. "We have invested more in the national health service in the last five months than in the last five years. At the moment we have reached 29,433 new hires, including 6,330 doctors, 13,607 nurses and 6,476 UAPs. The next step will be the recruitment of 9,600 community nurses on permanent contracts with the definitive adoption of the relaunch decree".

Reopening schools in safety

"School personnel will be subjected to serological tests", minister Speranza concluded. "Commissioner Arcuri has already issued a tender competition for the test kits. A model of random molecular tests is also being studied in order to monitor the school population during the year."


Source Ansa 

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Data di pubblicazione: 15 luglio 2020, ultimo aggiornamento 15 luglio 2020

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