The Italian Senate agreed on Tuesday to extend the Corona state of emergency until October 15. 157 of the 319 senators voted in favor of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government granting the government more powers to fight the pathogen.

Before the extension comes into force, the Chamber of Deputies must still agree, the vote is scheduled for Wednesday.

In his speech to the Senate on Tuesday, Conte had spoken of an extension until the end of October. The emergency would end on Friday without an extension. Several regulations that the government has put in place to protect public health are based on the state of emergency and are still in force.

35,000 deaths in Italy

Conte declared the emergency on January 31 for six months after the novel virus had been detected in a Chinese couple in Rome. .

“If we do without the emergency, the protection and prevention system that we have set up in the past few months will lapse. We have taken difficult decisions by the Italians Have claimed victims. However, this enabled us to cope with the most acute phase of the coronavirus emergency, “said 55-year-old Conte in his speech in parliament campaigning for the extension.

In the wake of the pandemic, around 35,000 deaths have been reported in Italy since February. The numbers of new infections are now low after a long and hard lockdown. The emergency becomes in Italy often proclaimed after natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods to ensure special coordination of the emergency services and to avoid delays.

Conte also spoke in front of the parliament for the reopening of schools in September. “Ten million children have to be able to return to school classes with complete security. It takes a lot of effort to guarantee the highest levels of security. This is a major challenge for the country,” said the head of government. The schools have been in since March 5th Italy closed. Until now only distance learning was guaranteed.