Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte reacts as he delivers a speech at the Italian Senate, in Rome, on August 20, 2019, as the country faces a political crisis. Photograph:( AFP )
Italy was the first country outside mainland China that faced the coronavirus outbreak and it declared a six-month state of emergency in late January
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Friday that the country will likely extend the July 31 deadline of the state of emergency imposed due to coronavirus pandemic.
"The possible extension simply means that we are in a position to continue taking the necessary measures," Conte said, on the sidelines of an event in Venice, reported Reuters.
Italy was the first country outside mainland China that faced the coronavirus outbreak and it declared a six-month state of emergency in late January.
The coronavirus situation has been largely controlled in the country and 12 new fatalities were confirmed on Thursday, three less than the previous day.
On Thursday, Italy banned travellers from 13 countries, including Brazil that is experiencing an exponential uptick in the coronavirus cases for the past several days.
The 13 countries that are banned on grounds of high risk of COVID-19 transmission, include Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Kuwait, North Macedonia, Moldova, Oman, Panama and Peru.
The decision taken by the health ministry was after the foreign, interior and transport ministries gave their consent.
"Throughout the world, the pandemic has entered a more acute phase," said Health Minister Roberto Speranza.
He said the "sacrifices" made by the Italians in recent months could not be "thrown away".
So far, nearly 35,000 people have died and over 242,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Italy, according to the official figures.