Pressure on Italy’s intensive care wards eases as new coronavirus cases slow again

Pressure on Italy's intensive care wards eases as new coronavirus cases slow again
A healthcare worker with a Covid-19 patient in Bergamo, northern Italy. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP
While deaths remain high, new coronavirus cases in Italy are slowing and the number of patients in intensive care has dropped for the third day in row.

Another 3,599 cases were confirmed in Italy on Monday, the Civil Protection department announced, more than 700 fewer than in the 24 hours before when the country reported 4,316 new cases.

That took the rate at which new cases are increasing day-on-day down to 2.8 percent, its lowest since the outbreak began.

Italy has now confirmed a total of 132,547 cases, 16,523 of them fatal.

Another 636 coronavirus patients died in the past 24 hours, the Civil Protection department said, an increase from the day before when the death toll hit a two-week low of 525.


Meanwhile 1,022 more people recovered over the same period, taking the total number of recoveries so far to 22,837.

That leaves Italy with 93,187 active cases of Covid-19 – 1,941 more than on Sunday evening and more than a thousand fewer than the increase between Saturday and Sunday (+2,972).

For the third day in a row, the number of people in intensive care fell: it currently stands at 3,898, compared to 3,977 on Sunday and 3,994 on Saturday.

The number of people receiving non-intensive hospital care increased slightly (+27) on Monday to 28,976 after having fallen for the first time since the outbreak began on Sunday (28,949), but remained lower than it had been on Saturday (29,010).

Another 60,313 infected people are currently in self-isolation at home.

“The numbers are less alarming, which should be of comfort but shouldn't make us lower our guard because this data is still alarming,” said Luca Richeldi, a pulmonology specialist on the government's Technical and Scientific Committee (CTS).

Yet while deaths – which may reflect cases contracted several weeks ago – remain high, the daily increase in people hospitalised with Covid-19 has fallen by more than 90 percent since March 30, he said.

“Today's figures confirm the trend that for a few days now has been downward. It is reassuring to see effective containment of the spread of the infection,” Richeldi said. After more than three weeks of nationwide lockdown, he said, “the results of the containment measures and our efforts are plain for all to see”.


Italy's sweeping quarantine measures, first introduced nationally on March 9 and tightened several times since, are due to last until at least April 13. 

They are expected to continue to some degree for several months beyond that, as the government lifts restrictions gradually in what it is calling “phase two” of Italy's coronavirus emergency.

The CTS will wait to see more data in the coming days before making its recommendations to the government about how to proceed beyond April 13, Richeldi said.

The true number of coronavirus victims in Italy could be much higher than the 16,523 confirmed fatalities, which do not include people who died at home, or in nursing homes, or those who were infected by the virus but not tested.

Among the deaths are at least 87 doctors, 25 nurses and six pharmacists.


Member comments

  1. Hi James, apologies for the confusion with the numbers in the previous article – we’ll continue to report the full number of new cases now, rather than the “change in active cases” figure, which we agree is unhelpful. Thanks for reading.

  2. You are using the worldometer numbers again. Thank you! It is the most reliable numbers we have and will really make a difference to how people treat the quarantine rules.

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