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Italy's Draghi prepares a video message as recent COVID-19 cases spike

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi will stick to it Monday his first public speech since he took location of work closing month, an legit at his location of work acknowledged, because the country faces mounting coronavirus cases and that you just may perchance presumably imagine recent restrictions.

It became as soon as no longer definite if Draghi would indicate further curbs to counter the unfold of unique, highly contagious variants. He’s getting ready a video address to ticket Monday’s Global Women folk’s Day and is anticipated to stress the necessity for cohesion with those suffering in the pandemic.

Draghi, who took location of work on Feb. 13, has no longer spoken publicly since Feb. 17 when he addressed parliament.

Italy has established a four-tier colour-coded system (white, yellow, orange and red) with curbs calibrated according to the an infection ranges and revised every week.

Italian newspapers reported on Sunday that the government is now brooding about automatically turning regions into red zones if the brink of 250 weekly virus cases per 100,000 inhabitants is breached.

That you may perchance presumably mediate of measures from mid-March consist of making the entire country a red zone for three or four weeks, La Repubblica acknowledged.

“The 2d wave never stopped, we’re seeing a in point of fact tough pickup attributable to the variants, which is main us to steal measures that are ever-extra restrictive,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza told Il Corriere della Sera in an interview on Sunday.

Asked whether the government would introduce a national lockdown at the least at weekends, and a stricter curfew, he acknowledged: “It’s definite that we are going to visual display unit the epidemiological verbalize, adapting the measures in the light of the variants.”

Italy reported 207 coronavirus-associated deaths on Saturday and 20,765 recent infections. The country has registered 99,785 deaths linked to COVID-19, the 2d-most real looking toll in Europe after Britain.

The Italian well being ministry will lengthen subsequent week the employ of Astrazeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to americans over the age of 65 and expects to inoculate half of the country’s 60 million population by conclude-June, Speranza acknowledged in a separate interview with declare-owned tv RAI on Sunday.

(Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni; Making improvements to by Frances Kerry and Catherine Evans)

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