Italy: 37,000+ virus infections as curve flattens

Italy on Saturday reported 37,255 more cases of the novel coronavirus, down from the previous day, as experts noted that the curve of contagion was showing the first signs of deceleration.

According to Health Ministry data, the new daily infections fell about 9% from a day before, bringing the total of COVID-19 confirmed cases to 1,144,552, after the country surpassed the 1-million mark on Wednesday.

The Health Ministry also registered 544 new deaths in the last 24 hours, down from 550 on Friday, bringing the total death toll to 44,683.

Health officials stressed that — despite the high number of daily infections — the curve of contagion was starting to rise at a slower pace.

“There is an initial, but clear deceleration in the curve,” said the president of the High Health Council Franco Locatelli at a press conference earlier on Friday.

“The curve is slightly flattening, but is not falling yet,” Locatelli added, noting that the division of the country in three areas based on the level of contagion risk was showing its first effects.

The head of the prevention department at the Italian Health Ministry, Gianni Rezza, said the virus transmission rate fell from a high of 1.7 reached in the past weeks to 1.4.

“Yesterday was the fourth consecutive day in which we observed a slowdown in the growing number of patients hospitalized in intensive therapy units,” he added.

Under pressure to stem a second wave that is putting most Italian hospitals under strain, the government on Friday toughened its restrictions in the central Tuscany and the southern Campania region, adding them to those classified as high-risk “red zones.”

Under the three-tier system introduced earlier this month, the strongest restrictions are imposed in red zones, with measures that can be described as a “light” lockdown.

Three more regions — Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Marche — also went from being low-risk “yellow” zones to medium-risk “orange” zones, with the new restrictions effective as of Nov. 15.

Italy now has six regions classified as red zones, nine as orange and five as yellow.

Source: Anadolu Agency