Italian president warns coronavirus crisis 'is not over'

The coronavirus crisis is not over in Italy, President Sergio Mattarella warned on the country's national day Tuesday, a day after a leading doctor created a furore by claiming that the virus no longer "exists" in the country, AFP reports. 

The latest figures in Italy continue to show a downward trend in new cases as it prepares the next stage of its gradual easing of a national lockdown, after nearly 33,500 people died over three months from COVID-19.

Italians were celebrating Republic Day with "feelings of uncertainty and reasons to hope," Mattarella said.

"The crisis is not over and institutions and citizens alike will still have to face its consequences and trauma," Mattarella warned.

It would be "unacceptable and unforgivable to squander this legacy of sacrifice, pain, hope and the need to trust our people," he said.

"Italy -- in this emergency situation -- has shown its best face," Mattarella said, adding that he was proud of his country and the "moral unity" of Italians which will be "the engine of rebirth".


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