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Italy enters the 3-day Easter blockade amid vaccination delays

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ROME (AP) Italy on Saturday entered a three-day blockade of the coronavirus across the country to prevent Easter trips and meetings, even as the rise of the country variant in new infections began to fade.

The government had announced last month that it would put all regions in the tightest red zone blockade over the Easter weekend to limit the chances of infection, taking the same precautions it implemented during Christmas and New Year.

Travel between regions and visits to relatives were limited until Monday. Non-essential shops were closed and restaurants and bars were open only to be taken.

People are tired, but they are aware that health protection is essential these days, said Major Fabio Palletta, a Carabinieri military police officer who runs a checkpoint in Rome on Saturday, one of many stationed across the country this year. weekends to ensure people on the streets were authorized to travel.

The Interior Ministry also ordered the establishment of police patrols to disrupt large gatherings in squares and parks, which during Easter are usually filled with picnic visitors.

I’m happy they are doing checks. That means something is working out in this whole mess, said Amato Monatanari, who had pulled out for a check in Rome.

Italy, where the outbreak of Europe began, has recorded more than 110,000 COVID-19 deaths, more than any other European country except Britain. Another 21,000 infections were reported Saturday in Italy, along with 376 deaths.

About 87% of newer Italys cases are found in the highly contagious variant first discovered in Britain. But the Ministry of Health announced on Friday that for the second week in a row, new cases had been reduced.

But because Italian hospitals in most regions are still better than their COVID-19 capacity in both intensive care units and other wards, the ministry concluded that the new infections were still too high… for allowing any reduction of current restrictive measures.

Italians, however, are upset about the country’s disruptive vaccination campaign, which despite promising to give priority to older people has left behind many of Italy’s oldest, most vulnerable people, while teachers, police officers and other professional workers receive their blows.

The Lombardy region, Italy’s largest, has suffered more infections and deaths from COVID-19 than any other, but has still had a shaky vaccination campaign, winning a personal visit this week from the Tsar of the new Italys virus, General Francesco Figliuolo.

There are things that do not go well, Figliuolo said. Well notice them, and then arrange them well together.

More than three months into the nationwide Italys vaccination campaign, Lombardy opened a new centralized dating portal this week after its previous system sent several seniors hundreds of miles (miles) from home to take a stroke and let them others unable to get an appointment.

Lombardys fought the regional governor, Attilio Fontana, acknowledged some difficulties, but insisted they had not affected the overall vaccination campaign. He said criticism of regional efforts was annoying.

Italy has administered 10.8 million vaccines nationwide, although only 3.3 million out of 60 million people have received both doses. Lombardy, which numbers one-sixth of the population and has long been proud of its healthcare system, has administered 1.7 million doses.

On Saturday in Sicily, a church temporarily opened its doors to become a pop-up vaccination center.

For those who are Christians who celebrate Easter, today means above all to be a good and honest citizen, said Rev. Fr. Michele Viviano, parish priest of the Salesian parish of Don Bosco in San Gregorio di Catania, Sicily.

It also means collaborating with the immunization campaign, participating in it and organizing it, he said.

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