Coronavirus deaths in Italy surge to 366 as emergency measures come into force

The number of coronavirus deaths jumped by a record 133 in the past 24 hours, while 622 patients have recovered, health officials stated on Sunday. Here's the latest news.

Coronavirus deaths in Italy surge to 366 as emergency measures come into force
Photo: An artist wears a mask while painting on a bridge in Venice, which is now subject to emergency quarantine measures. Photo: AFP

The death toll from the outbreak of coronavirus in Italy rose to 366 on Sunday, shooting up from 233 on Saturday.

The number of infections also rose by a single-day record of 1,492 on Sunday to hit a total of 7,375, the Civil Protection Agency stated.
This figure is a total number of cases since the outbreak began in Italy more than two weeks ago, and includes the fatalities as well as patients who have now recovered.
The country now has the most deaths of any country outside China, and the second-most COVID-19 infections in the world, after the number of cases rose by a single-day record of 1,492 to 7,375.
Civil Protection Agency head Angelo Borrelli told a news conference that of those originally infected, 622 had fully recovered.
This means there are currently 6,387 active cases in Italy.
Some two thirds of all of those currently infected have been hospitalised, authorities said.
Borrelli said Italy was ordering 22 million surgical masks to help stop the spread.
Italy has recorded the most deaths of any country outside China and the second-most COVID-19 infections in the world. The majority of the deaths were in the Lombardy region in northern Italy, the civil protection agency said.
While Italy's coronavirus fatality rate is estimated at around 3.8 percent of confirmed cases, experts warn there may be an unknown number of undetected cases.
All of Italy's 20 regions are affected as of Thursday, with the data showing the virus had reached the Aosta Valley on the French border.

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The majority of the deaths were in the Lombardy region in northern Italy, the civil protection agency said.
The northern Lombardy region around Milan had started “experiencing difficulties with the (number of) beds available in hospitals”, officials said.
“We have beds available in other regions to help Lombardy,” Borrelli told reporters.
Italy is ordering 22 million surgical masks to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus, the civil protection agency said.

Over 15 million people were meanwhile adjusting to quarantine measures after the government effectively shut whole swathes of the north, beginning with the Lombardy region.

The Italian government signed an emergency decree early on Sunday morning placing the entire region of Lombardy, including Milan, as well as Venice, Padua, Parma, Rimini and other parts of northern Italy under emergency quarantine measures for nearly a month.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stated in a press conference held in the early hours of Sunday morning that he had signed off on plans to strictly limit movement in and out of the affected areas.

New rules aimed at controlling the spread of the virus are in place until April 3.


Photo: AFP

According to the WHO, around 80 percent of people who contract the new coronavirus recover without needing special treatment.
Around one out of every six people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.
Some 3.4 percent of cases are fatal, according to the latest WHO figures.
Older people and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.

Find all The Local's coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy here

READ ALSO: The everyday precautions to take against coronavirus if you're in Italy

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”