Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Italy virus death toll rises to 26,384

As contagions keep falling, Italians celebrate Liberation Day in lockdown

Giada Zampano   | 25.04.2020
Italy virus death toll rises to 26,384

ROME 

Italy's death toll has risen to 26,384, with 415 new fatalities over the past day, health authorities said Saturday.

However, data indicated a flattening of the curve as infections fell for the sixth day in a row.

According to the Italian Civil Protection Department, the tally of infections stands at 105,847.

Meanwhile, recoveries spiked to 63,120 as the number of patients under intensive care continued to fall.

The epicenter of the Italian outbreak remains the northern Lombardy region, where fatalities continue to rise, reaching 13,269, more than half of the country's total deaths.

The government is expected to unveil its nationwide plan for the recovery phase by the end of the month, but each region continues to push in a different direction.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has clarified that the government intends to start lifting the nationwide lockdown “gradually,” respecting all the necessary precautions in terms of social distancing to keep the contagion curve under control.

The government is also reading a new emergency decree to support the struggling economy, which – according to its new forecasts – is seen shrinking by 8% this year, pushing Italy into a new recession. 

The country also witnesses a public debt of up to 155.7% of gross domestic product, the highest level since World War II.

Italians on Saturday celebrated the anniversary of Italy's Liberation Day, a national holiday commemorating the end of Nazi-Fascist occupation during World War II and the victory of the Italian Resistance. 

As Italians were forced to stay home due to the lockdown, many celebrated in the afternoon by singing the popular anti-fascist anthem “Bella Ciao” from their balconies and windows, in a collective tribute that became viral on social media. 

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