Italy's coronavirus deaths up slightly amid hope cases are peaking

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Italy's coronavirus deaths up slightly amid hope cases are peaking
Doctors wearing protective clothing at the entrance of the Nomentana hospital near Rome on April 2. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

There have now been almost 14,000 coronavirus victims in Italy, officials said on Thursday, while infections seem to have reached a peak in some areas.


Another 4,668 cases of the new coronavirus were confirmed on Thursday, according to the latest daily figures from Italy's Civil Protection department.

In total, Italy has now confirmed 115,242 cases of coronavirus since the outbreak began, including deceased and recovered patients.

The death toll figure rose by 760, a slight rise compared to Wednesday's 727.

This brings the total number of fatalities to 13,915.

Of those originally infected, some 18,278 in total had fully recovered on Thursday, compared to 16,847 the day before.

There were 4,053 people in intensive care, up from a previous 4,035, however authorities said the total number of patients in hospital because of the virus was down.

READ ALSO: Five reasons why the coronavirus hit Italy so hard



“The number of people being hospitalized has decreased,” said Angelo Borrelli, the head of the Civil Protection Department, who himself recently tested negative for coronavrus after falling ill.

"61 percent of the total infected people are in home isolation with no symptoms or with mild symptoms, a number that has increased in percentage terms,” he said.

The infection rate has also slowed again in Lombardy, the worst-affected region, with 1,292 new cases registered on Thursday, compared to 1,565 on Wednesday.

The death toll has not fluctuated dramatically for a few days, though some doubts were raised on Wednesday about the accuracy of data on fatalities.

Authorities acknowledge that the data are incomplete because deaths from COVID-19 related causes outside hospitals are not counted.

Italy has registered more deaths than anywhere else in the world, and currently accounts for around 28 percent of all global fatalities from the virus.



ANALYSIS: When will the coronavirus epidemic in Italy peak?

The world is watching closely for evidence that Italy's coronavirus quarantine measures have been enough to contain the spread.

Borrelli said on April 1st that infection rates in some parts of the country were reaching a peak, but said "the south is still at risk."

"It would be a mistake to let our guard down now," he added.

The Italian government on Wednesday extended the country’s current lockdown measures until April 13th.

In a speech on Wednesday night, Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte told the public any loosening of the measures could spark a new rise in the number of cases.



"If we started to loosen the measures, all of our efforts would have been in vain and we would pay a very high price,” he said.

He also warned he could not commit to when the lockdown would end.

"The moment the data is consolidated and the experts give their response, we'll be able to identify an end date. But I can't give it today."

READ ALSO:  How Italy has changed the way it reports the daily coronavirus figures




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