Italy mulls psychological tests to gauge lockdown impact

ROME (AFP) – Italian scientists want the government to conduct psychological tests on a sample of the population to determine how long people can stay confined to their homes, a report said yesterday.

The Corriere della Sera newspaper said scientists want to understand how long Italians “are able to endure a lockdown” in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will announce a new set of social guidelines this week that could include the tests, the report said.

Italy entered into a progressively more restrictive lockdown over the first half of March that has since been replicated by most European nations.

The Mediterranean country’s 60 million citizens have been barred from walking more than 200 metres from their homes without a significant reason.

Reports of domestic abuse surged and scientists worry about the impact of such isolation on the elderly and the more vulnerable.

Conte’s government is now debating how it can lift the stay-at-home order and reopen businesses while there is still no coronavirus cure or vaccine.

The virus officially killed 23,660 in Italy – second only to the United States (US).

Conte is expected to let people out of their homes for more reasons when the current lockdown rules expire on May 4.