Italian Interior Minister tests Covid-19 positive

Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to a government official.

“My best wishes to Minister Lamorgese, who tested positive for the Covid-19,” Xinhua news agency quoted Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio as saying on a Facebook post on Monday.

Lamorgese knew about the result of her latest swab test, which had been regularly carried out every 10 days, while attending a cabinet meeting here on Monday.

She swiftly left the meeting and put herself in isolation at home.

The minister was reportedly asymptomatic.

Because of the gathering, two other cabinet members who were sitting next to her — Justice Minister Alfonso Bonafede and Di Maio have also isolated themselves as a precautionary measure, and would wait to be tested as well.

“After the cabinet meeting I will also be in self-isolation, and keep working every day via video conference, abiding by all health protocols,” Di Maio said in his social media post.

All cabinet members including Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte would undergo a swab test, although they did not come into close contact with the Interior Minister, according to Ansa news agency.

“The measure is precautionary, since each minister was sitting at a safety distance from their colleagues at the meeting,” Ansa reported, citing government sources.

Lamorgese, who was appointed interior minister in September 2019 with the second government led by Conte, is the latest member of the Italian cabinet to test positive for the coronavirus, after Regional Affairs Minister Francesco Boccia (who was asymptomatic) in October.

As of Tuesday, Italy’s overall caseload and death toll stood at 1,742,557 and 60,606, respectively.