Daily cases triple in a week, raising fears of further restrictions

 ROME – The daily number of positive Covid-19 cases is rising exponentially in Italy due to the Omicron variant, with cases nearly tripling since last Wednesday, statistics show. Further restrictions may be put in place to curb pressure on hospitals.

 On Wednesday, the country recorded 98,020 new cases - 25 percent more than there were on Tuesday when 78,313 cases were detected. The positivity rate has risen to 9.5 percent.

 According to data from the Ministry of Health, the number of patients in intensive care has climbed to 1,185, while those with symptoms in ordinary wards has reached 10,578. Deaths are also rising, albeit only slightly, with 480 in the first three days of this week, compared to 436 in the first three days of last week.

 The region of Lombardy has recorded almost one third of the total infections, with 32,696 new positives Wednesday, almost 4000 more than the previous day. In the province of Milan there are 13,650 new cases, of which 5,152 are in the city.

 Other regions also hit record numbers of new positives in one day. Campania reached almost 10 thousand (9,802 cases), Piedmont followed with 9,671, then Veneto with 8,666, Tuscany with 7,304, Lazio with 5,248 and Emilia-Romagna with 4,134 cases. Umbria recorded 3,171, Sicily 3,729, followed by Puglia 2,885 and then Friuli Venezia Giulia, Marche, Liguria and Calabria all above one thousand.

 Florence mayor Dario Nardella posted on Twitter Wednesday, “A lockdown for the unvaccinated could be an effective measure. It would reduce infections and flatten the hospitalisation curve, which remains the aspect that should worry us more than any other.”