Covid-19: Italy’s president warns country not to let guard down

"Freedom is not the right to make others sick" said Mattarella.

Italy's president Sergio Mattarella has warned people in Italy not to lower their guard amid a slight rise in coronavirus cases in recent days, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

Mattarella, speaking at a ceremony before parliament's summer recess on 31 July, recalled the thousands of Italians who have died due to covid-19.

The president said it was vital to maintain precautions to contain the spread of the coronavirus, including social distancing, the wearing of masks, and frequent hand washing.

"Learning to live with the virus does not mean behaving like it no longer exists" - Mattarella said - "One must not confuse freedom with the right to make others sick."

Stressing that Italy "must not forget what happened," the president recalled that on 31 March, just four months ago, "more than 800 of our compatriots died in a single day" due to covid-19.

The president also thanked the sacrifices of healthcare workers as well as the countries that came to Italy's aid at the height of its covid-19 emergency.

On 31 July Italy registered 379 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, with the majority of them in the northern Veneto and Lombardy regions, according to the Italian health ministry.

This number compares to 386 new cases on 30 July, which was significantly higher than the number registered in previous days, reports ANSA.

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