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Rome restores exterior masking despite drop in coronavirus cases

ROME – The city of Rome has reinstated its draconian outdoor mask mandate despite remarkably positive coronavirus data compared to last December.

As of Saturday, December 4, people must wear a mask in all of Rome’s major squares and shopping streets, including, for example, Piazza del Popolo, Piazza di Spagna, Via del Corso and Via dei Condotti.

The Italian government has repeatedly extended the national “state of emergency” over the past two years, bypassing the legislative process to grant special powers to the executive. The state of emergency in Italy began on January 31, 2020 and is expected to last until December 31, 2021, although several ministers have suggested that it be extended again.

The declaration of a “state of emergency” is not foreseen by the Italian Constitution but is based on a law of February 24, 1992, which was further detailed in the Civil Protection Code of 2018. The Code specifies, however, that its duration “may not exceed 12 months and may be extended by a maximum of 12 months”.

A discarded protective mask is seen on the ground near St. Peter’s Square in central Rome. (AP Photo / Paolo Santalucia)

Over the past two years, the government has used its extraordinary powers to issue more than 80 civil protection orders, including multiple degrees of lockdown, movement restrictions, the use of masks, and the maximum number of people allowed in its residence.

Regarding the current situation regarding the coronavirus in Italy, it is difficult to see the justification for a continued limitation of the activities of citizens.

On December 4, 2020, there were 3,567 coronavirus patients in intensive care units (ICUs) in Italy, while on the same day in 2021 the number fell to just 732, a remarkable drop of 80%.

Looking at the deaths from the coronavirus, the numbers are even more striking. On December 4, 2020, 741 people died in Italy infected with the coronavirus, while on that same date in 2021, only 77 people died with the virus. This represents a 90 percent drop in deaths from the disease.

Italian daily He sun 24 Ore released an overlay chart on Saturday comparing coronavirus deaths over the two years, making it clear that the winter peak in deaths in 2020 has not recurred in 2021.

Rome restores exterior masking despite drop in coronavirus cases

Coronavirus in Italy 2020-2021

Many protesting against tighter legal restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus insist their opposition does not stem from a rejection of the proposed vaccines but from the unacceptable appropriation of power by the government in the intimate affairs of citizens .

Some have started to compare the Italian government’s attachment to control with that of the Communist regime in China, where the virus originated.


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