Italy to extend COVID state of emergency until end of April By Reuters

ROME (Reuters) – Italy will extend the state of emergency imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus until the end of April, as infections currently show no signs of abating, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Wednesday. The state of emergency, first introduced in January 2020, was due to expire at the end of this month. It gives greater powers to the central government, making it easier for officials to bypass the bureaucracy that stifles much of decision-making in Italy. “In the last week there has been a generalized worsening of the epidemic, we are returning to an expansionary phase,” Speranza told the lower house of parliament. “With the indicators deteriorating … the government considers it appropriate to extend the state of emergency until April 30.” Italy has recorded 79,819 deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic first broke out in February, the second highest figure in Europe and the sixth highest in the world. Italy has reported 2.303 million COVID-19 cases to date.

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