Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte is confirming Italian schools will reopen as planned Sept. 14, though some regions are pushing back the start because they haven’t yet conformed to anti-coronavirus norms requiring socially distanced desks and classrooms.
Conte warned there will be new rules, difficulties and positive cases in schools, but says the public health care system was prepared to intervene to trace contacts and order quarantines of entire classes, if necessary.
Students must wear masks entering and exiting the school and between classes but can remove them if their desks are spaced apart.
Italy’s official death toll from the virus tops 35,000 -- the second highest in Europe after Britain. The confirmed number of cases in the country stands at more than 280,000. The number of new daily infections has topped 1,000 for several weeks as Italy aggressively tests and traces people returning from vacation, especially hot spots like Sardinia.
A doctor says the clinical condition of former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi is starting to improve after he was hospitalized with pneumonia and COVID-19 last week.
Dr. Alberto Zangrillo, Berlusconi’s long-time personal doctor, said in a statement Monday that the 83-year-old media mogul, who has a history of heart problems, has pneumonia in both lungs. Zangrillo says Berlusconi’s overall condition “appears to be improving” and that his body has mounted “a specific robust immune response” associated with a reduction in inflammation.
Zangrillo heads the intensive care unit at San Raffaele hospital in Milan, but he has stressed that Berlusconi isn’t in intensive care but in isolation elsewhere in the hospital.
Zangrillo said last week that Berlusconi’s advanced age and his history of medical problems make him particularly vulnerable to the dangers of coronavirus infection.