March 26 Coronavirus Tuscan Update & Nationwide Regulations

The news regarding the Coronavirus medical emergency in Florence & Tuscany for March 25 – 26 is mixed.  On March 26, there was a drop in cases – the opposite to what occurred nationally – from 273 (March 25) to 254 (March 26).  The March 25 statistic included a nine-year-old child. There were, however, more deaths (16) reported on March 26 as compared to 13 deaths on March 25.  A large number of patients are reported in the province of Massa Carrara where many deaths in the region have occurred, which is also true for the provinces of Pistoia, Pisa and Livorno. The epidemic is expected to reach its peak in Italy on March 28.

There are now a total of 3,226 COVID-19 patients in Tuscany as of March 26, with the number of deaths at 158.  Hospitalized are 1,296 patients, of which 259 are in intensive care.  Ninety-five people – this figure has doubled in the last 24 hours – have recovered from the virus and are now in good health.

To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.

To purchase ventilators, face masks, intensive care hospital beds and other necessary items at the Santa Maria Nuova and Careggi hospitals, Rocco Commisso has personally donated 125 thousand euros, which he added to 600 thousand euros in a fundraising campaign that the Italian-American owner of the local Fiorentina soccer team headed.  Paolo Fresco, who established a Parkinson disease research center (Fondazione Fresco Parkinson Institute Italia Onlus) in Fiesole in 2015, also made an independent gift of 150 thousand euros.

The good news is that, nationwide, the number of crimes committed has dropped by 75% since the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis the last week in February for theft, armed robbery and rape.  There has been also 46% fewer arrests for drug dealing (see related story).

Regarding the March 26 Coronavirus Tuscan update and new regulations, people are not supposed to leave their city or town of residence unless for work or for health reasons or to go to the nearest supermarket.  The Rome Fiumicino airport is still operating with national Italian carrier Alitalia offering very limited service ditto for other airlines providing incoming flights which are few and far between.

With modifications approved on March 25, a new decree by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has further restricted work activities as of March 28.  Call centers can no longer contact potential clients.  Supermarkets, pharmacies, herbal shops (erboristerie or parafarmacie), hardware stores, tabacchi (a shop that sells cigarettes, matches, lighters and postage stamps), newsstands (click here to see those guaranteeing home delivery), grocers, fruit and vegetable stands and shops, indoor markets that can include fishmongers and pet centers continue to remain open along with post offices, banks and gas stations.  Studios run by self-employed professionals, comprising accountants, lawyers, notaries, civil engineers, publishers and vets are allowed to operate, although non-urgent activity has been suspended in courthouses.

With the March 25 amended decree, many factories engaged in the manufacture of what are considered non-essential items or parts such as chemical products will not be allowed to continue beyond March 28 for the time being.  Click here to see the list of productive activities that have been approved to continue work during the current Coronavirus emergency.

(rosanna cirigliano)