Despite a rising infection rate in the country’s northern regions, a top Italian health official said there were no plans to tighten coronavirus restrictions in any part of the country.
According to Xinhua, Andrea Costa, under-secretary of the Italian Ministry of Health, said in a televised interview that the country’s health system is “under control” and that there should be no changes in health status.
Since June, all of Italy’s 20 regions have been designated as “white” zones, the least restrictive of the country’s four-color scale of coronavirus restrictions.
Rising coronavirus infection rates in three northern regions (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, and Le Marche) suggest they may be classified as “yellow.”
However, Costa stated that this would not be the case.
“According to the data, at the moment the situation is under control and there should be no changes,” Costa said. “But some regions will have to be more careful.”
Italy reported 10,652 new cases in the last 24 hours, the second consecutive day with more than 10,000 cases, which had not been seen since May.
As of Friday, the country’s total infection and death toll stood at 4,893,887 and 133,034, respectively.
However, the situation is more dire in some areas.
Costa noted that the percentage of all cases in intensive-care units in Friuli Venezia Giulia surpassed 10% for the first time in months.
Next week, the Council of Ministers is expected to debate whether to officially shorten the validity of the “green pass” for vaccinated residents to six months from the final vaccine and encourage eligible residents to get a booster shot within that time frame.
To date, 45.8 million Italians have received full vaccinations, representing 84.4 percent of the population over the age of 12.
The high vaccination rate prompted some regional government leaders to call on Tuesday for any future tightening of restrictions in the “yellow,” “orange,” or “red” zones to apply only to unvaccinated people living in those regions.
“It would be excessive to make the situation weigh on those who have taken two or even three doses in order to protect themselves and the community.”
Attilio Fontana, the governor of the region of Lombardy, agreed: “We cannot think of applying restrictions for the citizens who have shown trust and awareness and a sense of the common good.”