Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has warned that the nation is facing a new wave of coronavirus infections. Amid a rise in cases, the government has announced a plan to tighten restrictions in most parts of the country. On March 12, the government decided to impose lockdown restrictions from March 15 that will be effective through April 6. In addition to the new lockdown measures, Draghi also promised to speed up the country's vaccination program.
During his visit to a new vaccination centre at Rome's Fiumicino Airport on March 12, Draghi said that restrictive measures are necessary to stop the spread of the virus. He added that the memory of what happened last spring is vivid and the government will try to prevent it from happening again. Draghi pledged that the country would increase the pace of the vaccination with a target of over 500,000 doses to be administered on daily basis.
"Last spring's events are still fresh in our minds and we will do everything we can to prevent them from happening again. On the basis of scientific evidence, the government has today adopted restrictive measures that we have judged to be appropriate and proportionate," Mario Draghi said
Since there is a surge in COVID-19 cases, the government has decided to impose a lockdown from March 15. Schools, restaurants, shops and museums will remain closed with all to be declared either orange or red high-risk zones. Prime Minister's office had earlier confirmed that all of Italy would be classified in the highest risk "red zone" over Easter weekend.
Health Minister Roberto Speranza on Friday said that the regions Lazio, Lombardia, Veneto, Marche, Piemonte, Puglia, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, and the province of Trento will become red zones, in addition to Campania and Molise, which were already red zones. Italy has tightened COVID-19 restrictions as COVID-19 cases are on the rise and many hospitals have warned that they are running out of ICU beds for coronavirus patients. More than 100,000 people with coronavirus have died in Italy since the pandemic began one year ago.