Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Italy sees lower virus deaths, infection rate falls

Italian government still working on Christmas measures, but plans to monitor transalpine movements

Giada Zampano   | 25.11.2020
Italy sees lower virus deaths, infection rate falls

ROME

Italy on Wednesday reported 722 new deaths related to the novel coronavirus, down from the peak at over 850 on Tuesday, the highest in the second wave of the pandemic.

According to the latest Health Ministry data, the country also reported 25,853 new cases in the past 24 hours, up 11% from a day before, reaching a total of 1,480,874 since the start of the outbreak.

With Wednesday’s daily fatalities, the national death toll rose to 52,028, the second-highest in Europe after the UK, and the sixth globally.

But the infection rate fell for the second consecutive day to 11.2%, from 12.3% a day before, showing that the virus is circulating at a much slower pace than in the past weeks.

After struggling to contain the second wave of the pandemic, the Italian government is studying new measures for the Christmas period, in a bid to allow people to celebrate with their relatives without risking a third wave of the contagion early next year.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has already anticipated that ski slopes will continue to be closed over Christmas and urged Italy’s alpine neighbors to do the same and act in a coordinated way to avoid new outbreaks.

“We don’t want to meddle with other countries’ decisions, but we are trying to avoid that Italians go abroad and re-enter the country with any kind of (sanitary) control,” Conte said at a joint news conference with his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez in Palma de Mallorca.

The government is expected to approve a new decree early December, which should include new rules, in order to guarantee longer shopping hours for the Christmas holidays and allow closest relatives to reunite also if they live in different regions.

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