Legendary opera tenor Andrea Bocelli, who survived COVID-19 this spring, is being hit hard in Italy after he said the coronavirus blockade made him feel “humiliated and offended”, depriving him of his personal independence to come and go as he pleases. .
Bocelli addressed a panel Monday before the Italian Senate, where he was introduced by right-wing opposition leader Matteo Salvini, who opposed the government’s tough measures to combat the outbreak.
The singer’s announcement in May that he had recovered from the virus came weeks after his Easter performance at the empty Cathedral of Milan. At the time, Bocelli said he learned on March 10 that he was experiencing a positive, just as the nation was going into a blockade mode, “I jumped into the pool, I felt good” and had only a slight fever. He apparently meant a private pool at his residence, as public pools for gyms have so far been closed.
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The international star, nominated for a Grammy, said at a conference in the Italian Senate that he was outraged that he could not leave his home, although he “did not commit any crime” and found, without providing details, that he violated the restrictions on blocking.
In the midst of a closed regime, Italians could only leave the house to go to important jobs, walk dogs or buy food or medicine.
Deputy Health Minister Pierpaolo Sileri said on Tuesday that Bocelli may have “wanted to express his inconvenience to every Italian who stayed home because of the closure of the case.”
“I wouldn’t say those words, but I think he can explain it somehow,” Sileri added.
The conference took place ahead of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s appearance in the Senate, scheduled for late Tuesday, where he is expected to present the case of the center-left government on the continuation of the state of emergency for the July 31 pandemic.
The state of emergency has allowed Conte to bypass Parliament or even his Cabinet, taking a series of measures to slow the spread of the outbreak in the country where it first appeared in Europe, and will have more than 35,000 lives.
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Bocelli told the conference that his children first told him to be careful about the virus when he first began to doubt its seriousness.
“But over time, I know a lot of people, but I didn’t know anyone who was in intensive care,” he said.
At the worst of the outbreak, as many as 4,000 people were in intensive care in Italy, a country of 60 million, with several hundred virus-related deaths.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.