Italy must avert second national lockdown, says Conte

Conte admits "growing concern" about covid-19 contagion in Europe and Italy.

"Italy must avert a second nationwide lockdown," said premier Giuseppe Conte on Friday 23 October, calling on people to remain alert and respect the rules to prevent the spread of covid-19, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

Conte's comments come as Italy continues to register a steep rise in covid-19 infections, recording more than 16,000 new cases on 22 October.

"We must remain vigilant and ready to intervene where necessary," said Conte, who admitted there is "growing concern about the increase in contagion in Europe and Italy."

However the premier stressed that all efforts must be taken to ensure that production continues and that public offices and schools stay open, reports ANSA.

Conte's remarks were followed by calls from the president of Italy's southern Campania region, which includes Naples, for an "immediate national lockdown" for a month.

Campania president Vincenzo De Luca, who has already closed schools and imposed a night curfew, said that his region would "move very soon in the direction" of lockdown.

De Luca said it is necessary to "close everything," except for sectors that produce and transport essential goods, as well as blocking movement between regions.

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