Italian minister says coronavirus ‘tsunami’ is slowly starting to back down but ‘hugs and kisses’ won’t return without a vaccine

Deputy health minister Pierpaolo Sileri said that normal life would only return to Italy after an inoculation was readily available, as the country’s new infection rate continued to decline.

The politician, who fell victim to virus himself but has since recovered, told Radio Capital in Rome that “a tsunami that struck northern Italy is gradually receding, but hugs and kisses can only return to Italian life after a vaccine is found.” 

He added that the ban on movement had prevented the disease from spreading south, and urged Italians to still observe proper social distancing and wear face masks when out in public, as they continued their fight against Covid-19.

The current restrictions in Italy are due to expire on April 13, with the Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte indicating that more personal freedom could be on the way.

Despite the government’s efforts, Italy has the highest recorded death toll in the world with more than 16,500 people losing their lives and over 132,000 reported infections.