Must keep COVID measures in place says Speranza

Rt set to pass 1, great prudence still needed

(ANSA) - ROME, FEB 24 - The government has decided to keep existing COVID measures in place, resisting pressure from the centre right to reopen gyms, swimming pools and other urban spaces and let restaurants work in the evening, Health Minister Roberto Speranza told the Senate Wednesday.
    "There are not the conditions to lower our guard," he said, stressing the need for national unity against the health emergency.
    He said the key RT transmission number was close to passing the crucial 1 threshold, and therefore "great prudence is still needed".
    Speranza said "rows may disorient" people but there was "light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine rollout.
    He said the government had agreed to a proposal to have a single spokesman foe the CTS government committee of experts, rather than several sometimes discordant voices.
    Italy is currently in a three-tier COVID risk system and a travel ban between regions was recently extended till March 27 as the government looks to slow the spread of highly contagious coronavirus variants.
    Speranza said there a panel would be set up with the Higher Health Institute (ISS) to draw up a more accurate and thorough picture of the various COVID variants circulating in the country, starting with the highly contagious British strain.


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