Italy ‘advances’ plans to start lifting coronavirus lockdown in 5 days despite WHO warning ‘don’t even think about it’ – The Sun
The Italian government is looking at plans for shops to resume trading and people to return to work after being in lockdown for a month because of coronavirus.
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Officials in the country are hopeful that the spread of the deadly disease is slowing, with leading experts claiming people could “venture out” within weeks.
Shops and businesses could reopen on April 13, and Italians could be allowed to go outside and return to work from May 4.
With the country’s lockdown set to end in five days, health chiefs are now discussing how to go about lifting lockdown restrictions under “phase two” of the country’s coronavirus strategy.
Silvio Brusaferro, head of Italy’s top health institute, of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, said: “The curve has reached a plateau and begun to descend.
“It is a result that we have to achieve day after day.
“If this is confirmed, we need to start thinking about the second phase and keep down the spread of this disease.”
Depending on how the contagion evolves, early May could be the time to start allowing people to venture out.
Fabrizio Pregliasco, a virologist at Milan University, said that Italians could be allowed to leave their homes within weeks: “Depending on how the contagion evolves, early May could be the time to start allowing people to venture out.”
He continued: “But we’ll have to stick to social-distancing rules, and to stopping people from forming groups.
“And the more we wear masks, the better.”
Italy has been in lockdown since March 9, with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte imposing travel restrictions and bans on gatherings.
Despite hopes that restrictions could be lifted, the World Health Organisation today warned against ending lockdown measures.
Dr Hans Kluge, who manages the WHO’s response to Covid-19 in Europe, said: “To think we are coming close to an end point is a dangerous thing to do.”
He added: “This is not the time to lower our guard. We must soldier on. We are in this together and we will get through this together.”
Italy today recorded its highest increase in new infections in three days, with a jump of 3,836 confirmed cases.
But, while Europe remains in lockdown, residents in Wuhan, where the virus first started, were yesterday free to leave the Chinese city.
Pictures showed hundreds of people leaving by road, air and train as the 76-day quarantine came to an end.
Wuhan, where the virus began in December, has recorded zero new deaths for the first time since the pandemic began.
The city’s airport is set to open for domestic flights in days, after China’s National Health Commission said there were only 32 confirmed cases of the virus.
More than 1.4 million people around the world have been diagnosed with Covid-19, and there have been more than 86,000 deaths.
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