Coronavirus infection rate and deaths up again in Italy

Coronavirus infection rate and deaths up again in Italy
Italian army trucks transport coffins bearing coronavirus victims from a cemetary in Lombardy to crematoriums in other regions on March 26th. Photo: AFP
The total number of deaths has now passed 8,000, and more than 80,000 cases have been detected in Italy, according to the latest official data on Thursday.

The number of deaths reported from coronavirus in Italy in the past 24 hours was 712 – up from yesterday's total of 683, according to the latest figures from Italy's Department for Civil Protection.

There was some confusion as the ministry initially reported 661 new deaths, but later added the figure from the Piedmont region, making a total of 712.

There were  6,153 new infections reported across Italy in the past 24 hours – around 1,000 more than the day before.

The total number of cases detected in Italy since the outbreak began has now passed 80,500.

This includes 10,361 recovered patients and a total of 8,215 deceased.

While the estimated fatality rate is at ten percent in Italy, experts say this is unlikely to be the real figure, The head of Civil Protection has said there are likely to be as many as ten times more cases in the country which have not been detected,

Italy's coronavirus infection rate had slowed for four successive days from Sunday to Wednesday, fuelling hopes that the epidemic was slowing in Italy.

But things looked less certain on Thursday after the infection rate rose again, in the worst-hit region of Lombardy and elsewhere in Italy.

READ ALSO: What are Italy's tightened coronavirus quarantine rules?

The majority of infections and deaths are still in Lombardy, where the first cases of community transmission were recorded in late February, and in other northern regions.

There were also worrying signs in southern and central regions, such as Campania around Naples and Lazio around Rome, as deaths increased there on Wednesday and Thursday.

Italian authorities are concerned that more cases will now be seen in southern regions, after many people travelled north to south before or shortly after the nationwide quarantine measures were introduced on March 12th.

The world is watching closely for signs of improvement from Italy, with policy-makers worldwide weighing up whether to implement their own quarantine measures are looking for evidence the measure has worked.

Experts have previously predicted the number of cases would peak in Italy at some point from March 23 onwards – perhaps as late as early April.


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