Italy on Sunday reported an 18% fall in new daily cases and deaths related to the novel coronavirus, confirming that the contagion curve is stabilizing.
According to Health Ministry data, 28,337 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours, down from almost 35,000 a day before, reaching a total of 1,408,868 since the start of the pandemic.
The lower number of daily cases, however, also reflected the smaller number of swab tests usually executed over the weekend.
Italy also registered 562 new fatalities, down from 692 on Saturday, bringing the national death toll to 49,823 -- still the second-highest in Europe after the UK.
The infection rate remained stable around 15% on Sunday, showing that the virus is still circulating, but at a slower pace.
After struggling to contain the second wave of the pandemic, the Italian government is now studying new measures for the Christmas period, allowing people to celebrate with their relatives.
The government warned, however, that it will not risk lowering precautions and sparking a new wave of contagion.
With most Italian hospitals overwhelmed by coronavirus patients, the government has gradually toughened its restrictions in seven regions, now classified as high-risk "red zones".
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