Italy: Lombardy adopts new measures against COVID-19

The Lombardy region, in northern Italy and where the coronavirus outbreak began in Europe at the end of February, adopted new measures on Friday to contain the outbreaks, limiting the activity of bars and the sale of alcohol, banning the sports of contact and closing the bingo rooms.

The regional government also asked secondary schools to adopt a hybrid schedule for students to alternate face-to-face classes with online teaching.

The measures were taken after Lombardy, the most populated region in Italy, once again became the main focus of the second wave of the pandemic in the country, with more than 2,000 infections in one day. Hospitals are under increasing pressure and intensive care units are filling up.

According to the new rules, bars will only be able to serve at the table from 6:00 p.m. and the sale of alcohol to take away is prohibited thereafter, in addition to the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public spaces in an attempt to avoid crowds forming in squares.

The other Italian region hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, Campania, in the south, just as strict measures were adopted, including closing schools for two weeks. Following protests from parents, the governor backed down on Friday and allowed the nurseries to continue operating.

On the other hand, the Czech Republic broke its new record for daily infections for the third consecutive day and surpassed the 10,000 barrier for the first time. According to the Health Ministry, 11,105 new cases were reported on Friday, almost 1,400 more than the mark reached the day before.

Since the start of the pandemic, the country has confirmed 160,112 cases of COVID-19, with 1,283 deaths.

Despite the restrictions decreed by the government to slow the spread of the virus, Health Minister Roman Prymula said he expects the positives to continue to rise in the next two weeks.

If the measures do not achieve their goal, the number of new cases could reach a quarter of a million in the second half of October, according to the forecast of the Ministry of Health.

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