Coronavirus: world is enduring toughest moment - Speranza

Situation in Italy better than elsewhere but battle not won- min

(ANSA) - ROME, 06 AGO - Health Minister Roberto Speranza said Thursday that, while Italy has overcome the worst of the coronavirus emergency, the situation worldwide have never been bleaker.
    "The situation is all but simple because it is certainly the most difficult moment worldwide," Speranza told the Senate as he reported on the measures the government has adopted to combat COVID-19.
    "There have been over 700,000 deaths and the situation within the EU is anything but tranquil".
    The minister expressed satisfaction, however, about how Italy has tackled the emergency.
    He said that Italy has 5.2 cases for every 100,000 inhabitants, the lowest level in Europe.
    "The epidemiological situation in Italy is better than elsewhere and this achievement totally belongs to the national health service and it was made possible by the behaviour of our fellow citizens," he said.
    "No one had an instruction manual but the public institutions held up.
    "And while the figures tell us that we are much better (than before) I don't think the battle has been won.
    "We cannot consider ourselves safe and we must keep our guard up".
    Italy was the first European country to be badly hit by the pandemic.
    It imposed tough lockdown measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 and prevent the nation's health service being overwhelmed.
    Although those moves seemed draconian at the time, they were subsequently copied by other States.
    Italy also adopted a prudent approach after bringing the contagion curve down, easing the lockdown measures gradually.
    Some restrictions still apply and people must wear facemasks in enclosed spaces, such as shops and on public transport, and maintain social distancing of at least one metre.
    "Zero risk does not exist," Speranza said.
    "The path of reopening (activities) should continue along the lines of prudence and caution that have brought us this far in a positive way.
    "Three rules remain - masks, social distancing and hand washing.
    "These essential rules must continue throughout August and beyond".
    On Wednesday Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, said that other countries are learning from how Italy has tackled the coronavirus.
    "Grazie mille @robersperanza, #Italy Health Minister, for a very good call and for your strong support to @WHO," Adhanom Ghebreyesus commented as he retweeted a post by Speranza.
    "Your leadership and humility is inspiring to other countries who are learning from and acting on Italy's experience". (ANSA).


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