Italy expands “red zones” as a record number of registered new cases

Restrictions aimed at curbing a sharp increase in coronavirus cases will be extended in various Italian regions, with both Tuscany and Campania being described as high-risk “red zones”, the health ministry said on Friday.

Italy registered a record 40,902 new coronavirus infections in the previous day, which means that the sum since the disease was discovered in February amounted to 1,107 million – a tripling of just under a month.

To limit the spread, the government last week created a three-tier system, with varying degrees of curbs in each area, which originally placed four regions in a red zone, two in an orange zone and the rest in a moderate yellow zone. .

It adjusted the zoning earlier this week and revised it again on Friday after reviewing the latest data, including local infection rates and hospital occupancy.

Tuscany and Campania will be added to the red list on Sunday, joining the rich northern regions of Lombardy, Piedmont and Valle D’Aosta, the province of Bolzano and Calabria in Italy’s toe.

People living in these areas are only allowed to leave their homes for work, health reasons or emergencies. Bars, restaurants and most shops must be closed.

Nine regions in the orange zone

Nine regions will now be in the intermediate orange zone – Emilia-Romagna, Friuli, Marche, Abruzzo, Basilicata, Liguria, Puglia, Sicily and Umbria. Only five remain in the yellow zone, including Lazio, centered on Rome and Veneto.

The campaign has jumped straight from the yellow to the red zone after doctors warned that the health care system there was close to collapsing, with huge queues being built outside hospitals and some patients putting oxygen in their cars while waiting for intake.

But even in the north, officials have warned that hospitals are struggling to survive because the number of coronavirus patients is climbing higher and staff are struggling exhausted.

“We only had four cases here in Lombardy in August. We now have more than 800 beds (intensive care) occupied by COVID-positive patients,” said Enrico Storti, head of the intensive care unit at a hospital in the northern city of Lodi. .

“We now know what to do, we are now probably better prepared compared to the first wave … but we are also tired and it is not easy to find the same energy, to find the same strength that we could use in the first hit , he told Reuters.