Italy’s prime minister on Thursday defended his handling of the coronavirus outbreak within the country, despite having faced the highest reported death toll from the virus than any other country.
Giuseppe Conte told the BBC that he would “do the same” if he were to go back in time and face the health crisis again.
“We have a completely different system to China. For us to severely limit constitutional freedoms was a critical decision that we had to consider very carefully,” he said.
“If I had suggested a lockdown or limits on constitutional rights at the start, when there were the first clusters, people would have taken me for a madman,” Mr. Conte continued.
“Going back, I would do the same,” he said.
Italy has recorded the highest death toll from the coronavirus than any other country in the world, with 17,669 as of Thursday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. The country has reported 139,422 confirmed cases and 26,491 recoveries among its 60.3 million people.
The infection rate in the country appears to be slowing, as new cases have been increasing by just over 1% in recent days, compared to 7% two weeks earlier.