As the coronavirus death toll in Italy surpassed 23,000 on April 18, the government is now reportedly preparing for the ‘Phase Two’ of its response to battle the outbreak. According to Worldomnter, Italy is the third worst-hit country and has nearly 175,925 confirmed COVID-19 cases. With 482 new deaths related to the virus, the death toll in the country reached 23,227 on Saturday.
Domenico Arcuri, who is the Italian government’s special commissioner for the coronavirus emergency said, “We are experiencing a large-scale tragedy and we have not defeated it yet - these are the hard fact”.
While speaking about the prevention, he added, “We must continue to act with the caution and the prudence we have learned over the past month”.
According to a media agency, Italy went under lockdown on March 10 and will continue to be under strict social distancing measures until May 3. Once the lockdown is over, the authorities will announce ‘Phase Two’, which will involve the ‘gradual resumption of social, economic and productive activities’. Arcuri reportedly said that there is no competition between health and economic recovery.
He warned, “Without health and safety, the economic recovery would last the blink of an eye”. Further adding, he said, “For Phase Two, we are ready to supply the national territory with all the needed equipment today. This does not mean that Phase Two should begin today”.
Arcuri also explained that a new contact-tracing mobile phone app, commissioned by the government is also being tested. Authorities will be rolling out the app in some parts of the country on an experimental basis as well. Arcuri also informed that according to the experts, at least 70 per cent of the population should use the app in order to achieve the ‘meaningful results’.
Meanwhile, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen offered a “heartfelt apology” to Italy on behalf of Europe admitting that it was not by its side from the beginning when the country needed support. Speaking at a debate in the European Parliament on EU’s response on COVID-19, the Commission president said that Europe has now become the world's beating heart of solidarity.