Italy today recorded the smallest increase in coronavirus infections for nearly four weeks, with only 3,309 new cases, in the latest sign of a successful locking.
The number rose 2.3 percent in new cases, compared with a 2.8 percent increase on Monday, when 3,559 new cases were recorded.
In addition, there were 604 more COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, lower than 636 the day before, bringing the total number of deaths to 17,127, the highest in the world.
The total number of infections recorded in Italy is now at 135,586, but the latest figures once again underline the growing belief that a nationwide lockdown imposed on March 9 bears fruit.
A patient suffering from coronavirus was driven through the Cernusco sul Naviglio hospital in Milan on Tuesday
The increase in previous daily infections since March 17 has all been in the range of 4050 to 6,557. And Italy hasn’t posted a lower daily increase than Tuesday since March 13.
Of those who were initially infected, 24,392 were recovered on Tuesday against 22,837 the day before. There were 3,792 people in intensive care against 3,898 on Monday – the fourth consecutive daily decline.
The Italian health ministry has sent inspectors to the country’s largest nursing home where 70 elderly people were reported to have died in March alone while management is thought to underestimate the risk of coronavirus infection.
The Italian Repubblica daily said Milan prosecutors had opened a criminal investigation into the alleged murder at Pio Albergo Trivulzio’s home.
A coronavirus patient spoke with a relative using a tablet computer at a hospital in Milan on Tuesday
Italian troops patrol in front of the Selam Palace, a structure occupied by migrants, in the district of La Romanina, on the outskirts of Rome today
Repubblica quoted a geriatric doctor, Luigi Bergamaschini, as saying he had been moved because he insisted his staff wear masks and protective equipment, while union leaders blamed the manager for registering the death as pneumonia.
The Ministry of Health’s deputy minister, Pierpaolo Sileri, told Radio Capitale that inspectors supported by the Carabinieri health care team would confiscate documentation from the facility and other nursing homes with high casualties.
Many nursing homes who have died have not been tested for COVID-19 and have not been hospitalized, given their poor condition and intensive care units overflowing in northern Italy.
As a result, their deaths are not included in the official Italian death count, already the highest in the world.
Medics wearing protective gear carry patients suspected of having coronavirus from an ambulance at the Policlinico hospital in Tor Vergata in Rome
The graph shows the total number of corona virus cases per day that have been reported in Italy, until 6 April
The graph shows the number of deaths from the corona virus reported daily in Italy, with data up to April 6
Meanwhile Italian leaders are trying to plan a way out of the lockdown and restart Europe’s fourth largest economy as the virus slowly subsides.
Around 150 Italian academics have published letters in the Italian financial daily Il Sole-24 Ore, which is owned by the Italian business lobby Confindustria, urging the government to unblock the economy.
“Social and economic consequences will risk producing irreversible damage, perhaps more serious than those caused by the virus itself,” the letter said.
Medical staff work in the Intensive Care Unit at Bassini Hospital treating coronavirus patients in the severely hit northern Italy, near Milan
Italy says the pressure on its hospital system is easing because the rate of infection is slowing, but that national closure will remain in effect for now
Rome imposed a national closure on March 9 when the new virus, which emerged in China, killed more than 460 people.
Two weeks later, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that non-essential businesses, including the production of cars, clothing and furniture, had to be closed until April 3.
The death toll has risen relentlessly and now stands at more than 16,500.
The government extended the restrictions last week to April 13 and is widely expected to extend them again, for the next three weeks.
But the smallest daily increase in COVID-19 deaths for nearly two weeks on Saturday, and the first decline in the number of patients in intensive care, has given hope that the epidemic may have peaked in Italy and focused attention on the next phase of the crisis.
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