MILAN — The Italian government has approved 40 billion euros ($47 billion) in new spending to counter the pandemic’s economic blow.
The stimulus package announced Sunday includes an additional 1 billion euros to the national health care system, plus funds to hire doctors and nurses to fill in during the emergency and money to pay for vaccines and other necessities to treat and combat the spread of COVID-19.
There is also money to extend short-term layoff schemes, to support families, to help the underdeveloped south and to make it cheaper to hire workers under 35 years of age.
Premier Giuseppe Conte is expected to approve new restrictions on people’s movements later Sunday, after new infections are hitting 10,000 a day. That is well beyond the numbers confirmed during the peak of Italy’s outbreak in the spring, when only the most seriously ill people were being tested.
Experts warn that the virus is already reaching vulnerable populations again and filling hospital wards in Milan, the epicenter of the new surge. Italy has over 36,400 confirmed deaths in the pandemic, the second-worst in Europe after Britain.