Italy wants to start gradually easing out of its lockdown from 4 May, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Tuesday.
Conte is confident that there will be a detailed phase-out plan "before the end of this week," he said. "We have expert groups working alongside us day and night" to coordinate the relaxing of lockdown rules, Conte assured.
Italy's lockdown measures include travel restrictions and a ban on public gatherings. The phase-out plan will be applied on a national scale but will take into account regional differences, he added.
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"I wish I could say, let's reopen everything. Right away. We'll start again in the morning," Conte said, "but such a decision would be irresponsible. It would drive up the contagion curve uncontrollably and defeat all the efforts we've made so far. All of us together."
Italy is the second-most affected country behind the United States, with 23,660 deaths for 178,972 cases according to an AFP tally on Monday.
Belgium currently counts 40,956 confirmed cases and has recorded 5,998 since the start of the pandemic. Like Italy, Belgium's lockdown remains until at least 3 May.
The Brussels Times