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Italy reports 55 more virus deaths as right stages protests

Northern Lombardy region remains epicenter of Italian outbreak, with victims amounting to almost half of total fatalities

Giada Zampano   | 02.06.2020
Italy reports 55 more virus deaths as right stages protests


Italy on Tuesday reported 55 more fatalities from the novel coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 33,530, as the right-wing opposition staged protests across the country asking for the government resignation. 

The slowing trend in the number of deaths registered in May confirms that the peak of the crisis has been left behind.

The tally of active infections continued to fall on Tuesday, by 1,474, placing the total at 39,893.

Meanwhile, recoveries continued to climb, surging above 160,000, as more patients left intensive care, easing pressure on Italy's strained health care system.

The northern Lombardy region remains the epicenter of the outbreak, with victims being counted at 16,143, almost half of the country's death toll.

Thousands of right-wing protesters took to the street of several Italian cities on Tuesday, demanding the resignation of the government, which they accuse of being unfit to handle the COVID-19 emergency.

The rallies were organized by the right-wing opposition parties to give voice to what they called "the country that does not give up," referring to Italian people hit hard by the pandemic and struggling with its dramatic consequences.

It was the first time that a political protest took place on June 2, the day Italians celebrate the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946.

The largest demonstration was held in Rome’s central Piazza del Popolo, where Brothers of Italy’s Giorgia Meloni, the League’s leader Matteo Salvini, and Forza Italia’s Antonio Tajani joined a few hundreds of protesters, who exposed a 500 meters-long national flag.

Later in the day, the same Roman piazza was occupied by about a thousand of so-called "orange vests" protesters -- inspired by the French Yellow Vests and led by former army general Antonio Pappalardo.

They all called for a new government able to handle the heavy economic impact of the coronavirus emergency, lower taxes and more jobs for Italian citizens damaged by the crisis.

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