Covid-19 in Italy: 'More masks, fewer parties' warns Lazio region

Lazio underlines importance of masks in combatting covid-19.

Italy's central Lazio region registered 244 new covid-19 cases within the last 24 hours on Sunday 4 October, 91 of which were recorded in Rome, with six deaths.

The number of new cases, which followed 12,000 swab tests, "confirms that we must not lower our guard," said Lazio region health councillor Alessio D'Amato, who advised: "More masks and fewer parties."

The town of Latina, south of Rome, recorded 73 new cases on Sunday, a "worrying increase" according to local health authorities which are urging residents to "only leave their homes in the case of necessity."

On 3 October the Lazio region introduced an order obliging people to wear face masks in public at all times, including outdoors, with fines of €400 for those who fail to comply.

Meanwhile the director of Rome's Spallanzani hospital - a specialist centre for infectious diseases which has played a central role in battling Italy's coronavirus crisis - has called for the "doubling" of public transport in the capital, and all Italian cities, to avoid coronavirus contagion.

Francesco Vaia told Sky Tg24: "In schools we can do a lot and we are doing a lot, but what worries us is transport. We have done a lot in ports and airports and we have become a European and international point of reference, but metropolitan transport is an area of great concern."

The order to wear masks outdoors - already in place in Calabria, Campania, Lazio and Sicily - is expected to be rolled out nationwide as part of Italy's latest emergency decree on 7 October.

Italy recorded 2,578 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, down from 2,844 the day before, with 18 deaths, according to the latest figures from the health ministry.

Photo credit: Enrico Tricoli / Shutterstock.com.