Italy news: Warning over return to full coronavirus lockdown issued as infections spike | World | News

The Government has said local lockdown will be implemented “if the situation gets out of hand, if control of the territory and the infected gets out of hand”. Agostino Miozzo, the coordinator of the Technical Scientific Committee of experts advising the Government on the coronavirus emergency, issued the statement.

He said while a second national lockdown remains “highly unlikely”, new restrictions on territories which see a huge spike in COVID-19 cases could not be ruled out.

He said the risk exists because “there is always a dance party or a barbecue…to celebrate.”

He added: “The virus exists and it is present throughout the country.

“We are still in a manageable situation.

But, the death toll continues to drop and just six fatalities were recorded on Wednesday.

In a report by the Ministry of Health for the week to August 9, Italians were warned the situation could quickly deteriorate.

The infections contracted in the second half of July 2020 show “important warning signs for a possible increase in transmission”, the report said.

It added: “It is essential to strengthen contact tracing activities so as to identify all potential transmission outbreaks early and continue to control the epidemic.”

Nine regions of Italy have an R value greater than one, three less than last week when there were 12.

The report said local authorities have been hard at work to trace anyone who came into contact with an infected person.

It said their efforts were “proving effective in containing the local transmission of the virus as demonstrated by R values equal to or less than 1 in most regions”.

Deputy Minister of Health Pierpaolo Sileri said the virus “can return to raise its head” and this could mean travellers returning from abroad face new measures.

He said if infections rise rapidly authorities could “change the list of countries from which it is mandatory to take the serological test on return”.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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