MILAN • Persistently high numbers of coronavirus cases in Milan are complicating Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's plans to restart the Italian economy.
Even as growth in new cases nationally has slowed in recent weeks, Milan has experienced a late wave, becoming the province with the highest number of infected people.
In the 30 days to April 16, the growth rate of new cases in Milan was 30 per cent higher than the national level, while total deaths in the metropolitan area nearly doubled last month compared with the year before. The city has seen hundreds of deaths in recent weeks at its largest nursing home.
Mr Conte is preparing to at least partially open up the country starting on May 4, but he has been under pressure from industrialists and regional politicians in Lombardy, of which Milan is the capital, for a quicker return to business as usual.
Local leaders have said the grave situation in Milan and the surrounding area calls for caution.
"Until a few weeks ago, the regional government wanted me to shut down all public transportation because the situation was still not under control," Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala said. "And now they want to restart everything?"
Italy had a total of 22,745 deaths from the virus as of yesterday, and 172,434 confirmed infections.
BLOOMBERG, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE