Italian Civil Protection Aims For A Quarantine Until May 16.

In Italy, a possible “phase two” is beginning to be discussed in the emergence of the coronavirus, that is, when the current phase one will relax with restrictions on all productive activities, except essential and strategic ones.

This is a great debate about the eventually staggered schedule that should be followed, with certain pressures from some business sectors towards the Government. The Executive of Giuseppe Conte approved last Wednesday a decree extending the closure of productive activities and maintaining home confinement at least until April 13.

After approving this extension, Prime Minister Conte declared that we are still in phase one and that phase two would then begin, in which “we will still have to continue living with the coronavirus”, although then the measures would be relaxed. But yesterday, notable confusion and tension were created in the Government after statements by the director of Civil Protection, Angelo Borrelli. This considered “plausible” that only from May 16 began phase two. In an interview with Radio Capital, Borrelli had assured that “we will have to be home for many weeks” because it requires the “maximum rigor” to prevent the chain of infections from going out of control.

The director of Civil Protection was asked if we will also spend May 1 at home. Angelo Borrelli’s answer did not seem to leave any doubt: «I think so. We will have to be home for many weeks. A study by the Institute of Economy and Finance (EIEF) has marked May 16 as the probable date for the end of the current restrictive measures.

Also asked the director of Civil Protection if that date set by the study by the Institute of Economy and Finance is “plausible”, Angelo Borrelli explained: “If the trend does not change, it could be, although it could also be sooner or later. It depends on the data. Now the situation is stationary, we have to see when this situation begins to drop. “I would not like to give dates,” Borrell concluded, “but from today until May 16 there could be further positive data that would advise resuming activities and therefore beginning phase two.”

Taking into account that the policy of the Conte Executive is to go step by step, staggeringly extending the timetable of the restrictions, the message from the director of Civil Protection stunned the Government. Talking about May 16 as a plausible date to lift restrictions was considered by the Executive to be an infinite horizon. All a great contrast with that slow government policy, step by step, so as not to create panic or frustration.

Yesterday was a hectic day of phone calls. It was decided that there should be no immediate denial from the Government, so as not to open a political front in the controversy. At the moment, opening that tension with one of the emergency commissioners such as the director of Civil Protection Borrelli could have been devastating.

In the afternoon, in the usual press conference at 6:00 pm to offer the data on the evolution of the epidemic, Angelo Borrelli corrected himself: «Some of my words have been wrong; there is only one fixed date, April 13; the measures to be adopted will depend on the evolution of the infections ”. The final word will be politics,

In short, everything will depend on the evolution of the data on the epidemic, offered at the same press conference by the director of Civil Protection himself. They record a stable trend. Since the beginning of the epidemic on February 21, the number of people infected with the coronavirus is 119,827; the deceased, 14,681; of them, 766 are the dead in a single day (+ 4.5%), with an increase of 6. Among the dead yesterday, 73 doctors stand out.

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