Italy extends lockdown as toll passes 13,000
A homeless person pulling a trolley walks along The Vatican's colonnades on April 1, 2020 at the limit between Italy and The Vatican, with St. Peter's basilica in background, during the country's lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus.
AFP/Filippo Monteforte
Italy extends lockdown as toll passes 13,000
(Agence France-Presse) - April 2, 2020 - 8:41am

ROME, Italy — Italy on Wednesday extended its economically-crippling lockdown until April 13 to help stem coronavirus infections that have claimed 13,115 lives.

"If we start loosening our measures now, all our efforts will have been in vain," Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told the nation in a national televised address.

The extension had been expected. Italy's health minister said on Monday that businesses across the nation of 60 million would remained shuttered and public gatherings banned until at least April 12.

Italy's official infection rate has been steadily slowing but the number of daily deaths has remained stubbornly high.

The country reported another 727 fatalities on Wednesday.

It has registered 2,376 deaths in the last three days alone.

Officials are now debating how they can resume at least some business activity without spreading the new disease.

Italy's Confindustria big business union estimates that each week under lockdown slices about 0.75 percent off the country's annual gross domestic product -- now the third-largest in the European Union.

Some media reports suggest that Conte will eventually leave that decision to regional leaders.

Local officials might then decide which factories or businesses in their regions can function safely if all the various social distancing rules are applied.

The authorities are also awaiting the delivery of kits that could allow comprehensive testing so that some people can resume work.

But Conte gave no indication of when or how the current lockdown measures -- in place fully since March 12 -- might be eased.

"When the experts tell us that the numbers are looking better, we will start thinking about lifting all the measures," Conte said.

"But I cannot tell you if that will be on April 14."

Current restrictions had been due to expire on Friday.

ITALY NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 24, 2020 - 8:16pm

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

November 24, 2020 - 8:16pm

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 1,397,322 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 59,256,310 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 37,691,800 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

November 24, 2020 - 6:18pm

Hundreds of flights at one of China's busiest airports were cancelled Tuesday as Shanghai raced to bring a local coronavirus outbreak under control.

Health officials have tested thousands of staff at Pudong International Airport since a small cluster of COVID-19 cases in the city was linked to several cargo handlers.

China — where the virus first emerged late last year — has largely brought the pandemic under control through travel restrictions and lockdowns, but it is now battling a number of domestic outbreaks in different cities.

Shanghai has reported seven local infections linked to the airport this month, with most cases found in the past few days. — AFP

November 24, 2020 - 3:43pm

Hundreds of flights at one of China's busiest airports were cancelled Tuesday as Shanghai raced to bring a local coronavirus outbreak under control.

Health officials have tested thousands of staff at Pudong International Airport since a small cluster of Covid-19 cases in the city was linked to several cargo handlers.

China — where the virus first emerged late last year — has largely brought the pandemic under control through travel restrictions and lockdowns, but it is now battling a number of domestic outbreaks in different cities.

Shanghai has reported seven local infections linked to the airport this month, with most cases found in the past few days. — AFP

November 24, 2020 - 12:22pm

The Department of Health discourages attending indoor religious activities where there may be crowds like Christmas masses in anticipation of a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission over the holidays.

It also considers "singing and speaking loudly" and physical contact as high-risk activities.

DOH cautions the public against shopping at malls and tiangges, or bazaars, as well.

November 23, 2020 - 8:58pm

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 1,388,590 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Monday.

At least 58,647,610 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 37,298,300 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

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