Italy's Campania region shuts schools amid spike in covid-19 cases

Italian premier says school closure "not the best solution."

Italy’s southern region of Campania, which includes the city of Naples, has shut its schools from 16 October until the end of the month, due to a rising number of new covid-19 cases.

The decision, taken by Campania governor Vincenzo De Luca, comes as Italy registered 8,804 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, its highest daily tally since the start of the outbreak, of which 1,127 cases were recorded in Campania.

The order by De Luca has been slammed by Italy's education minister Lucia Azzolina as "very serious, deeply mistaken and inappropriate".

Noting that the Campania governor was "the last to reopen the schools and the first to close them," Azzolina stated that: "In Campania, only 0.075 per cent of students tested positive for covid-19, also below the national average," reports Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano.

Italy's premier Giuseppe Conte, asked about De Luca's order, said that closing schools is "not the best solution," reports Italian news agency ANSA.

The order also affects universities in Campania, with only first-year students allowed to attend class in person.

De Luca's announcement came the same day that the Higher Health Institute (ISS) stated that transmission of the coronavirus is "limited" at Italian schools.