Battered Italy sees rays of hope in grim death data

Grant Boone
March 24, 2020

However, there was also a significant fall in the number of tests carried out, and the head of Italy's national health institute, Silvio Brusaferro, said it was too soon to say if the recent decline in daily deaths and new cases would continue.

Borelli's suggestions to the newspaper mean that the actual number of confirmed cases in Italy could be over the 600,000 mark. The Italian coronavirus death toll is now 6,820.

On Monday 602 people died following 650 deaths on Sunday and 793 on Saturday - the highest daily figure since the disease came to light on February 21.

The death toll had increased by 601 from 5,476 recorded by Sunday, Civil Protection Chief Angelo Borrelli told a late afternoon press conference.

Health authorities, however, warned that it was still too early to confirm a decreasing trend in the ongoing pandemic.

Borrelli said 54,030 people in Italy are now infected with the coronavirus.

Italy has suffered the world's deadliest outbreak of the respiratory pandemic, with 62 percent of the fatalities registered in Lombardy, the country's most populous and wealthy region.

Still on daily data, Borrelli said recoveries also kept increasing, with 408 more people added, bringing the total to 7,432. It is believed that as the testing for the disease has been limited to the people seeking hospital care, thousands of cases have certainly gone undetected.

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Considering all statistics, the total number of assessed cases Italy reached 63,927.

After four weeks of steep increases in deaths and cases, the growth rate has eased since Sunday, raising hopes that the most aggressive phase of the contagion might be over.

Among countries that have sent medical materials and experts were also Cuba and Venezuela.

The hardest-hit northern region of Lombardy remained in a critical situation, with 3,456 deaths and 27,206 cases against a previously given 3,095 and 25,515 respectively.

Lombardy's regional authorities also reported slight positive signals on Monday, yet sounding cautious as well.

The first death was recorded on Monday in the southern region of Basilicata, meaning all Italy's 20 regions have now registered fatalities.

"Another lovely signal concerns the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized (in ordinary wards), which is now 9,266, against 9,439 in the previous is the first time", Gallera stressed.

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