Rome, Jan 12 (IANS) Italy has returned to a three-tiered system that places regions into different restriction levels according to the local Covid-19 pandemic situation.
On Monday, the country registered 12,532 new Covid-19 cases, which increased the overall infection tally to 2,289,021, Xinhua news agency reported.
Actively infected people decreased by 3,953 cases to 575,979 on a daily basis, and recoveries increased by 16,035 to a total of 1,633,839, the latest data by the Health Ministry showed.
The large majority of those actively infected (549,734) are isolated at home, because with mild symptoms or asymptomatic.
Patients hospitalised are 23,603 (176 more than the previous day), and those in intensive care units 2,648 (168 more).
The country also reported 448 new fatalities on Monday, pushing the death toll to 79,203.
Meanwhile, after the tight national restrictions imposed in the Christmas and New Year holiday season, the country returned to the three-tiered system on Monday which was first introduced in November 2020.
This provides each region to be declared red, orange, or yellow (denoting high risk, medium risk, and low risk, respectively) according to their rate of virus transmission and state of local hospitals.
After a decree Health Minister Roberto Speranza signed on January 8, five regions became orange on Monday: namely, Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Calabria and Sicily.
Here, tight restrictions will remain in place, including a stop to all food services in bars and restaurants but for takeaway, and a ban on travels between towns.
The remaining 15 regions of the country turned yellow, thus facing lighter restrictions (restaurants and bars open, and travels between different municipalities allowed).
Other rules, such as the curfew from 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and a ban on inter-regional travels, will remain in place across the whole country.
This system depends on a periodical assessment by health authorities, so that the 'color' of each region can vary almost from one week to another.