Italy’s coronavirus deaths fall to lowest since lockdown began

Italy's coronavirus deaths fall to lowest since lockdown began
A building in Rome on Sunday, as Italy prepared to lift some of its coronavirus restrictions. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
Italy reported 174 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday, its lowest toll since 168 fatalities were registered when a nationwide stay-at-home order was imposed on March 10th.

The country's toll on the eve of its first easing of lockdown measures on Monday officially stood at 28,884 dead, second only to the United States.

The 1,389 new infections were also the lowest since the first week of March.

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Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte introduced waves of restrictions as the pandemic swept across the northern half of the country, the first to be heavily hit in Europe.

He imposed stay at home order for Milan's Lombardy and two neighbouring regions responsible for 45 percent of Italy's economic output on March 8th. The measure was extended nationally on March 10th.

Conte closed all shops except for pharmacies and grocery stores on March 12th, and all non-essential factories ten days later.

The easing on Monday will see Italians be able to visit parks and their nearby relatives for the first time in nine weeks.

But most businesses will remain closed for another two weeks. Bars and restaurants are due to start seating customers on June 1st.


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