Roundup: Italy increases spending for COVID-19 emergency as infections rise to 10,590-Xinhua

Roundup: Italy increases spending for COVID-19 emergency as infections rise to 10,590

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2020-03-12 04:54:54

ROME, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Italy will allocate 25 billion euros (28.3 billion U.S. dollars) public funds to deal with the COVID-19 emergency in the country as 10,590 coronavirus infections have been confirmed until Wednesday.

The figure marked an increase of 2,076 new cases against the previous day, and did not include recoveries or fatalities.

"The number of people who have recovered has increased by 41 compared to Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,045," Civil Protection Department chief and extraordinary commissioner for the coronavirus emergency Angelo Borrelli told a televised press conference.

In the day, 196 new fatalities were also recorded, bringing the death toll to 827 since the epidemic first appeared in Italy on Feb. 21. By far, a total of 12,462 accumulated COVID-19 cases have been reported in the country.

The cabinet planned to allocate the additional resources worth 25 billion euros to face the difficulties created by the novel coronavirus.

"These extraordinary funds are not to be used all immediately... but surely to be used in the emergency to tackle all of the problems we are facing," Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told a press conference on Wednesday.

He restated Italy was considering the epidemic both "a health and an economic emergency."

At the same press conference, Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri explained this would translate into a request to the Italian parliament "for deviating the country's deficit targets by 20 billion euros in terms of net debt, which would coincide with 25 billion euros in terms of budget cash."

The minister explained a first cabinet decree, to be passed later this week, would make use of about 12 billion euros of such resources, while the rest would "represent a reserve to be allocated for possible future actions also within the European framework."

The epidemic has reached all 20 Italian regions, although with different level of severity.

According to the latest statistics by the Civil Protection Department, Lombardy (5,763 cases), Emilia Romagna (1,588), Veneto (940), Piedmont (480) and Marche (461) were the most affected.

Effective Tuesday through April 3, the government has placed the entire country of about 60 million inhabitants under lockdown in a bid to prevent the epidemic from spreading further.


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