Italian government enlists top influencers to promote COVID-19 masks


Top Italian influencer Chiara Ferragni and her rapper husband Fedez have urged their fans to wear face masks, heeding a call from Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to raise awareness about battling COVID-19.

Ferragni and Fedez are especially popular amongst teenagers and interrupted their usual flow of Instagram glamour to stress the importance of masks in curbing infections.

"We are in a difficult situation and wearing a mask can avoid the worst-case scenario, a lockdown," Ferragni told her 21.5 million Instagram followers on Tuesday, holding a surgical mask in her hand.

Ferragni has her own fashion brand and is considering a stock market listing to monetise the clothing-to-lifestyle persona she has built on social media.

Fedez told his fans that Conte called the couple at the weekend to request their help, with data showing that infections had shot up amongst younger people.

Italy, the first European country to be hit hard by coronavirus, has seen a surge in daily cases this month and the government has ordered new measures to try to keep infections under control, including mandatory mask-wearing outdoors.

In March, when Italy was facing the worst phase of its outbreak, Fedez and Ferragni raised around 4.5 million euros ($5.32 million) through an online campaign. The money was used to build a new ward in Milan's San Raffaele's hospital.

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