New funds were allocated in Italy to feed existing relief measures for economic activities, as the restrictions to slow down a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic continued to be implemented across most of the country, the cabinet said.
Contained in a decree passed in the early hours of Saturday, the fresh funds amounted to 1.95 billion euros ($2.3 billion) in 2020, according to a cabinet’s statement.
Some 1.45 billion euros will be allocated as non-repayable financial aid to business activities affected by the restrictive anti-Covid measures imposed earlier this month, reports Xinhua news agency.
Another 400 million euros would go to mayors in order to implement “urgent food aid measures” to struggling households in their cities.
The remaining 100 million euros were destined to Extraordinary Commissioner for the Coronavirus Emergency Domenico Arcuri, who is in charge of the country’s national procurement process in the pandemic, for Covid-19 drug purchases.
The latest provision followed an earlier decree aimed at refunding the economic activities that were ordered to shut down during the second pandemic wave, which was worth 2.8 billion euros and entered into force on November 9.
According to the latest statistics by the Health Ministry, Italy has recorded a total of 1,308,528 Covid-19 cases since the pandemic officially broke out here in late February.
The death toll stands at 49,261.
Along with the containment measures, authorities have recently confirmed a plan for a national vaccination campaign, starting with 1.7 million people by the second half of January.