Local authorities in Italy has begun trialing a coronavirus saliva test for children. Launched in the Lazio region, the test uses a chewable swab (antigen) that is handed to school children like chewing gum from which saliva is obtain for testing.
Over 5 million antigens test will then be deployed to Italian schools to test kids showing any coronavirus symptoms. The test is welcomed by parents as it is non-invasive.
‘’Rome is the first healthcare department testing this new kind of swab. This does not replace ordinary tests but will definitely be a new tool for tracing our population’’ said Giuseppe Quintavalle, Director at Rome unit 3 health unit.
Gigliola Martinelli, Nursing Director, Rome unit 3health unit said ‘’This is a swab aimed at collecting salivary secretion, the strength of this method is that it’s not invasive at all. That is why this test is aimed at our little users’’.
Italy has introduced a new measure that make masks wearing compulsory when outdoors after recently passing a decree to extend the national state of emergency to January 2021.
This essentially means masks are mandatory in all urban and semi-urban settings — and anyone found in breach could face a fine between €400 and €1,000.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that while an already established order to wear masks indoors couldn’t be extended to private homes, he urged people to keep their distance.
“The state can’t ask citizens to wear masks in their own homes,” he said. “But we have a strong recommendation for all citizens: Even in our families we have to be careful.”
A resurgence of the coronavirus in Italy has prevented the lower house of parliament from voting on new measures to combat the pandemic as about 40 lawmakers from the ruling coalition were in isolation after contact with people who’ve tested positive for the virus.
Italy recorded another 3,678 COVID-19 cases and 31 deaths on Wednesday, meaning more than 36,000 people nationwide have now died from the illness.