Italy sees the smallest increase in coronavirus infections in nearly four weeks with 3,039 new cases
Italy has today recorded the smallest increase in coronavirus infections in almost four weeks, with only 3,309 new cases, in the last sign that the lockdown has been a success.
The number of new cases is 2.3 percent, compared to an increase of 2.8 percent on Monday, when 3,559 new cases were registered.
In addition, there were 604 more COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, down from 636 the day before, bringing the total fatality rate to 17,127, the highest in the world.
The total number of infections registered in Italy is now 135,586, but the latest figures again underline the growing confidence that the nationwide blockade imposed on 9 March is bearing fruit.
A patient with coronavirus is driven through the hospital of Cernusco sul Naviglio in Milan on Tuesday
Italian soldiers patrol in front of the Selam Palace, a structure occupied by migrants, in the La Romanina district, on the outskirts of Rome today
A coronavirus patient talks to a family member on Tuesday via a tablet computer in a hospital in Milan
Previous daily increases in infections since March 17 were all between 4,050 and 6,557. And Italy has not registered a lower daily increase since March 13 than Tuesday.
Of the originally infected, 24,392 were declared cured on Tuesday, against 22,837 a day earlier. On Monday, there were 3,792 people in intensive care as against 3,898 – a fourth consecutive daily decline.
The Italian Ministry of Health has sent inspectors to the country’s largest nursing home, where 70 elderly people are reported to have died in March alone, while management is said to have weakened the risk of coronavirus infection.
The Italian daily Repubblica says the prosecutors of Milan have opened a criminal investigation into alleged murder in the house of Pio Albergo Trivulzio.
Repubblica quoted a geriatric physician, Luigi Bergamaschini, who said he had been removed for insisting that his staff wear masks and protective equipment, while union leaders blamed the managers for naming the dead as pneumonia.
Deputy Minister of Health, Pierpaolo Sileri, told Radio Capitale that inspectors supported by the Carabinieri’s care crew would confiscate the facility’s documentation and other high-death-rate nursing homes.
Doctors wearing protective gear take a patient believed to have coronavirus from an ambulance at the Policlinico di Tor Vergata Hospital in Rome
A graph showing the total number of coronavirus cases per day reported in Italy until April 6
A graph showing the number of coronavirus deaths reported in Italy every day, with data rising to April 6
Many nursing home deaths were never tested for COVID-19 and were not hospitalized due to their weak conditions and the overcrowded intensive care units in Northern Italy.
As a result, their deaths do not figure in the official death toll in Italy, which is already the highest in the world.
Meanwhile, Italian leaders are trying to figure out a way out and restart Europe’s fourth economy as the virus slowly subsides.
About 150 Italian academics have published a letter in the Italian financial newspaper Il Sole-24 Ore, owned by the Italian business lobby Confindustria, urging the government to unblock the economy.
“The social and economic consequences are likely to cause irreversible damage, probably more serious than that caused by the virus itself,” the letter said.
Medical staff work in the Intensive Care Unit of Bassini Hospital, which treats coronavirus patients in the severely affected north of Italy, near Milan
Italy has said that the pressure on the hospital system will decrease as the infection rate decreases, but a nationwide blockade will continue for the time being
Rome imposed a nationwide shutdown on March 9 when the new virus, emerging in China, had already killed more than 460 people.
Two weeks later, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that non-essential companies, including auto, clothing and furniture manufacturing, should close until April 3.
The death toll has risen relentlessly and now stands at over 16,500.
The government extended the restrictions to April 13 last week, and is widely expected to extend the restrictions for another three weeks.
The smallest daily increase in COVID-19 deaths for nearly two weeks on Saturday, and the first drop in the number of patients in intensive care have raised hopes that the epidemic may have peaked in Italy and drew attention on the next phase of the crisis.