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Italy’s government set up digital solidarity site to help citizens amid COVID-19 lockdown

Europe’s worst-hit country by COVID-19, Italy, has reported more than 1,000 fatalities. As of 12 March 2020, Italy has 12,462 confirmed Coronavirus cases according to the World Health Organisation Situation Report.

Italy has been put on a nationwide lockdown with all stores except for pharmacies and food outlets being ordered to close down. Citizens have also been told they are not allowed to travel unless for serious health or work reasons.

Italy’s Ministry for Technological Innovation and Digitisation (MID) has teamed up with the country’s digital agency (AGID) to launch a dedicated website with initiatives launched by operators, companies and associations throughout the country to mitigate the effects on citizens of the coronavirus emergency.

Digital Solidarity Site offers Initiatives for Italian citizens

Free online newspapers, faster internet and access to e-learning platforms can be accessed at the government’s Digital Solidarity page, where companies can also go to sign up to provide their services free of charge.

With a population of 60 million people under lockdown, Italy has launched a campaign to get internet companies and publishers to provide free services to help people work and study from home, or to assist and enhance citizen life during confinement.

All of the country’s main operators have already announced a series of promotions for residential and business customers, such as bonus data and free access to smart working platforms and TV packages, in response to the call for digital solidarity from Paola Pisano – Italy’s Minister for Technological Innovation and Digitisation.

Government Agencies, Private Sector and Non-Profits Offer their Services during Lockdown

Among the offers on the Digital Solidarity page: mobile phone companies are giving extra data allowances; tech companies have given access to its cloud computing platforms, offering online meeting services, access to e-learning platforms and publishers have given free subscriptions to its magazines.

This public sector initiative could become the norm for many other countries who will have to enforce major restrictions on their citizens in the near future.

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