Exemptions will be given to a limited range of businesses and shops to resume activity

New Delhi: Despite mounting business pressure, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Friday extended the country’s lockdown till May 3.

This comes at a time when Italy’s death toll due to COVID-19 climbed by another 570, bringing the country’s total fatalities to 18,849.

The PM said the extension of the lockdown was a difficult but necessary decision for which he takes all political responsibility, as the country cannot afford another spike in infection.

Conte said he was giving a waiver to a limited range of business and shops to resume activity, however social distancing needs to be strictly followed. The full list of exemptions will be published today.

The extension decision has come followed by days of consultations with scientists and union leaders with a range of conflicting concerns.

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