Covid-19 in Italy: Next 7-10 days crucial, says health minister

Health minister calls on Italians to be realistic about Christmas.

Italian health minister Roberto Speranza has said that "the next 7-10 days will be crucial" in Italy's battle against covid-19.

Speranza, speaking in an interview with daily newspaper La Stampa today, said he remains "very cautious" but noted that the government's technical scientific committee "tells us the contagion curve is stabilising."

"It is still early to say it but there are valid reasons to believe that the latest measures are starting to yield some results".

Speranza said that Italy's first covid-19 vaccines will be reserved for doctors, nurses and healthcare workers, adding that "for the real mass vaccinations we will have to wait until the second half of 2021."

Addressing the question of Christmas holidays, the minister underlined that there are "still 40 days" until Christmas which "is a very long time from an epidemiological point of view.”

Speranza said he understood the importance of the festive season for families but called on "all Italians to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground."