Italian President stresses that freedom does not include the right to make others ill

A file photo of Italian President Sergio Mattarella (C) arrives in Codogno, where the first Italian case of COVID-19 was detected in February, during the celebrations of Republic Day, in Codogno, Italy, 02 June 2020. EPA-EFE/MATTEO CORNER

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Italian President Sergio Mattarella recalled the thousands of Italians who have died because of COVID-19 on Friday and warned against lowering the guard with respect to the coronavirus.

Speaking at the traditional ceremony before parliament’s summer recess, the head of State recalled that “four months ago over 800 of our compatriots died in just one day” due to COVID-19.

“This is a reason for us to not lower out defences,” he said.

“Learning to live with the virus does not mean behaving like it no longer exists”.

He said it was necessary to continue with precautions to combat the spread of the virus, such as social distancing, the use of facemasks in enclosed spaces and frequent hand washing.

“One must not confuse freedom with the right to make others ill,” he said.

The president thanked the countries that aided Italy at the peak of the coronavirus emergency here He also called for the billions of euros Italy will have access to thanks to the EU Recovery Fund to be used wisely. “We Italians are called on to do our part and use the resources within the sphere of a fast, concrete and effective programme,” he said.

Meanwhile the Italian health ministry said Friday that Italy has registered 379 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours.

That compares to 386 new cases on Thursday, which was significantly higher than the number registered in previous days.

The ministry said Friday’s positive cases derived from 68,444 swabs, almost 7,000 more than on Thursday.

It said 117 of the new cases were in Veneto and 77 were in Lombardy, Italy’s hardest-hit region.

Only one region registered no new cases, Valle d’Aosta.

The ministry said nine COVID-19 sufferers have died here in the last 24 hours, up from three on Thursday.

Italy’s coronavirus death toll now stands at 35,141.

Read more via ANSA

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