Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

COVID-19: Italy reports 525 new deaths, rate lowers

Rise in contagions also continues to stabilize, as peak seems approaching, intensive care cases drop again

Giada Zampano   | 05.04.2020
COVID-19: Italy reports 525 new deaths, rate lowers

ROME 

Italy on Sunday reported 525 more deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of fatalities to 15,887 -- the highest in the world -- but registering a further slowdown in the death rate.

According to data by Italy’s Civil Protection Department, Sunday's rise in the number of victims was the lowest in more than two weeks.

The slowing trend reported in the rise of infections -- clearly down from the double-digit rises in the early stages of the outbreak – also supports the government's hopes that a peak of the contagion is nearing.

Current infections grew 3.3% from Saturday to reach 91,246. The number of recovered people also continued to surge, climbing to 21,815, while the number of intensive care patients fell for the second consecutive day.

The epicenter of the Italian outbreak remains the northern Lombardy region, which now counts 8,905 victims.

The wealthy region, struggling to contain the massive contagion, was in the spotlight again on Sunday, after issuing a new order that forces citizens -- in case they go outside, under strict lockdown rules -- to always wear a protective mask, or a scarf to cover their mouths and noses.

The new order confused both citizens and national authorities -- still struggling to provide masks to all the doctors and the people in need -- with Civil Protection’s chief Angelo Borrelli saying: “I won’t wear a mask, if social distances are respected”. The comment sparked a new controversy between the Lombardy region and the central government, often at odds on the measures needed to face the emergency.

In its ongoing battle to contain the outbreak, the Italian government has extended an almost-total lockdown -- which halted most production and business activities in Italy -- until at least April 13.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has repeatedly said the government would start softening the measures only when scientists approve such a move, but he did not provide a specific date.

“You have to consider that Italy has been the first country in Europe that faced this pandemic,” Conte said on Sunday in an interview with NBC News, adding: “Our response has not been perfect maybe, but we have been acting the best of our knowledge.”

Since appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 183 countries and territories.

More than 1.2 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

Over 67,200 people died after contracting the virus, while nearly 253,000 recovered after treatment.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
Related topics
Bu haberi paylaşın