Covid-19 in Italy: Lazio to double drive-in test centres amid surge of new cases

Italy records a surge of new covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours.

The Lazio region, which includes Rome, has pledged to double its number of drive-in testing centres for covid-19 amid reports of people stuck waiting in their cars for 12 hours or more, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

The news comes as the central Italian region registered a record high daily toll of new covid-19 cases on 7 October: 357 new infections of which 145 were recorded in Rome, with six deaths and 61 people recovered.

The number of new infections in Lazio yesterday was up from 275 the day before, with 12,000 tests carried out across the region.

Lazio is now working to expand its drive-in testing facilities at Guidonia airport, Monterotondo Scalo, Priverno, Aprilia, Gaeta and Pomezia, as well as the Tor Vergata area used during Rome's Jubilee in 2000, according to regional health councillor Alessio D'Amato.

The move was announced the same day that Italy recorded a surge in new covid-19 cases, up 3,678 on 7 October, the sharpest daily rise since mid-April and the first time in months that numbers have risen above 3,000.

Italy has extended its state of emergency, to grant the government extra powers to deal swiftly with the covid-19 crisis, and has ordered the wearing of masks outdoors and all enclosed areas except the home, with fines of up to €1,000 for those who fail to comply.

Warning that the "battle is not won," premier Giuseppe Conte has called on people in Italy to wear masks even when entertaining friends at home or when visiting relations.

Photo Roma Sociale