Italy begins to emerge from world’s longest nationwide lockdown

first_imgBut bars and even ice cream parlors will remain shut. The use of public transport will be discouraged and everyone will have to wear masks in indoor public spaces.”We are feeling a mix of joy and fear,” 40-year-old Stefano Milano said in Rome.”There will be great happiness in being able to go running again carefree, in my son being allowed to have his little cousin over to blow out his birthday candles, to see our parents,” the father-of-three said.”But we are also apprehensive because they are old and my father-in-law has cancer so is high risk”. ‘Worried about reopening’ The economic toll of all those shutdowns has been historic.Italy’s economy — the eurozone’s third-largest last year — is expected to shrink more than in any year since the global depression of the 1930s.Half of the workforce is receiving state support and the same number told a top pollster that they were afraid of becoming unemployed.And some of those who are out of a job already say they do not entirely trust in Conte’s ability to safely navigate the nation out of peril.”I am worried about the reopening. The authorities seem very undecided about how to proceed,” 37-year-old Davide Napoleoni told AFP.Conte’s popularity has jumped along with that of most of other world leaders grappling with the pandemic thanks to a rally around the flag effect.But a Demos poll conducted at the end of April found some of Conte’s lustre fading.Confidence in his government has slipped by eight percentage points to a still-strong 63 percent since March. ‘Moment of responsibility’ Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus emerged in December, led the world with an unprecedented lockdown on January 23 that lasted 76 days. Weeks later Italy followed suit, becoming the first Western democracy to shut down virtually everything in the face of an illness that has now officially killed 28,884 — the most in Europe — and some fear thousands more.The lives of Italians began closing in around them as it became increasingly apparent that the first batch of infections in provinces around Milan were spiraling out of control.Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte began by putting a quarter of the population in the northern industrial heartland on lockdown on March 8.The sudden measure frightened many — fearful of being locked in together with the gathering threat — into fleeing to less affected regions further south.The danger of the virus spreading with them and incapacitating the south’s less developed health care system forced Conte to announce a nationwide lockdown on March 9.”Today is our moment of responsibility,” Conte told the nation. “We cannot let our guard down.”The official death toll was then 724.More waves of restrictions followed as hundreds began dying each day.Almost everything except for pharmacies and grocery stores was shuttered across the Mediterranean country of 60 million on March 12.Conte’s final roll of the dice involved closing all non-essential factories on March 22.Italy’s highest single toll — 969 — was reported five days later. Stir-crazy Italians will be free to stroll and visit relatives for the first time in nine weeks on Monday as Europe’s hardest-hit country eases back the world’s longest nationwide coronavirus lockdown.Four million people — an estimated 72 percent of them men — will return to their construction sites and factories as the economically and emotionally shattered country tries to get back to work.Restaurants that have managed to survive Italy’s most disastrous crisis in generations will reopen for takeaway service.center_img Psychological toll Italy’s staggered reopening is complicated by a highly decentralized system that allows the country’s 20 regions to layer on their own rules.Venice’s Veneto and the southern Calabria regions have thus been serving food and drink at bars and restaurants with outdoor seating since last week.The area around Genoa is thinking of allowing small groups of people to go sailing and reopening its beaches.Neighboring Emilia-Romagna is keeping them closed — even to those who live by the sea.All this uncertainty appears to be weighing on the nation’s psyche.A poll by the Piepoli Institute showed 62 percent of Italians think they will need psychological support with coming to grips with the post-lockdown world.”The night of the virus continues,” sociologist Ilvo Diamanti wrote in La Repubblica daily.”And you can hardly see the light on the horizon. If anything, we’re getting used to moving in the dark.” Topics :last_img read more

Manju Rani ensures silver in World Boxing Championships

first_imgUlan-Ude: Manju Rani (48kg) ensured at least a silver for herself by qualifying for the finals in her weight category at the women’s World Boxing Championships in Ulan-Ude, Russia on Saturday.Veteran Mary Kom (51kg), on the other hand, lost her semi-final bout and thus won her first bronze and eighth medal overall at the World Championships. Jamuna Boro (54kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) also won bronze after losing their respective semi-final bouts.Out of the four medallists, two — Rani and Jamuna — were making their debut at the World Championships this year.Rani kept her distance from her Thai opponent Chuthamat Raksat, relying on her jab and countering with combinations for most of the bout. She ended up winning the bout 4-1.Jamuna, on the other hand, was outplayed by Chinese Taipei’s Huang Hsiao Wen in her semi-final. She was the shorter boxer and was moving forward in a bid to get inside Wen’s reach and land shots. The strategy didn’t work and Wen ended up taking the bout with a unanimous 5-0 decision.Lovlina’s bout against China’s Yang Liu was a much closer affair. Liu had a longer reach than her 22-year-old opponent and made it count with her jabs. Lovlina also countered well but the force with which Liu landed her punches gave her the upper hand. She won the bout 3-2.Mary lost 1-4 to Turkish second seed and European Championships and European Games gold medallist Busenaz Cakiroglu. The Indian camp sought a review of the decision but it was turned down as the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) rules mandate that the decision has to be either 3-1 or 3-2 for the decision to be reviewed.A protest was also raised during the first round of Lovlina’s bout but the technical observer turned down the protest citing consistency of scores with the judges.Manju Rani will be up against Russian second seed Ekaterina Paltceva in the summit clash on Sunday. IANS Also Read: Hard Luck! Lovlina Borgohain settles for Bronze at World Women’s Boxing C’ship in RussiaAlso Watch: Students of Tinsukia College staged 3 hr sit in demonstrationlast_img read more

Sydney Airport in ACCCs bad books

first_img“Sydney Airport’s low quality of service ratings and relatively low investments in the face of on-going increases in demand, suggest that needed investments have not been forthcoming,” the report said. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale Sydney Airport has been rated Australia’s worst large airport in the most recent Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) annual report on aviation. Out of the big four airports, Brisbane was the only the one to improve its level of service with Tullamarine passengers saying they received “good” service at Tullamarine. ACCC chairman Rod Sims said that capacity pressures would affect airports considerably in future. The ACCC has been concerned that parking bays have been restricted at Melbourne Airport with numbers lessening recently.  Sydney Airport has again received the worst rating of Australia’s four biggest airports, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Despite the negative feedback, all four airports recorded car parking revenue growth. Airport users are charged $56 at Sydney Airport for eight hours parking. Sydney had both the highest car parking revenue per space as well as the highest parking margin per space. The report stresses that Sydney Airport will need to work on its congestion, improve capacity for passenger transit and enhance service levels in order to meet future demands. Airlines ratings fell across the board, with service levels going from “satisfactory” to “poor”. “It is likely that the current infrastructure at monitored airports will be under increasing pressure in future years given evidence of aeronautical and land-side congestion at some airports,” Mr Sims said.last_img read more