SHARE
COPY LINK

HEALTH

Italy records almost 1,000 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours

Italy recorded a sharp spike in coronavirus deaths on Friday with 969 new victims, the worst daily record for any country since the pandemic began.

Italy records almost 1,000 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours
AFP

The infection rate however continued its downward trend, with the civil protection agency reporting nearly 86,500 confirmed cases in Italy – a 7.4 percent increase, down from around 8.0 percent in previous days.

That represents the smallest rise in recorded cases since the epidemic began, albeit health officials say the real number of coronavirus cases in the country is far higher than the 86,498 recorded.

The national commissioner for the emergency, Domenico Arcuri, said army helicopters were going to be used to speed up the distribution of emergency medical and sanitary supplies.

How Italy has changed the way it records daily coronavirus figures

Earlier on Friday experts said Italy's coronavirus epidemic could peak in the next few days, but regional authorities warned the crisis was far from over, as four more frontline doctors died.

The national health institute (ISS) cautiously suggested lockdown measures to curb the spread of the disease – which has claimed over 8,100 lives and infected some 80,000 people — may soon bear fruit.

“I want to be clear on one point. We have not peaked yet,” the institute's head Silvio Brusaferro said.

“There are signs of a slowdown, which makes us believe that we are close, we could peak in the next few days.”

But virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco warned that would not translate into a go-ahead to ease lockdown measures.

The slight slowing in case numbers “should strengthen our desire to continue. We must not drop our guard.”

READ ALSO: When will the coronavirus epidemic peak in Italy?

Military doctors and nurses battling the disease in field hospitals were thanked by Italy's defence minister Lorenzo Guerini, who said they were making the country proud.

“The battle is still a long one, we have a lot of work to do, but together we will succeed,” he said via Skype.

He warned, however, that “more sacrifices will be required of you” before the worst was over.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

TRAVEL NEWS

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.”

SHOW COMMENTS