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IN NUMBERS: What is the coronavirus situation in Italy now?

Italy has now lifted most lockdown restrictions but health authorities warn the coronavirus risk hasn't disappeared. So what's the current situation?

IN NUMBERS: What is the coronavirus situation in Italy now?
A health worker checks a patient being treated for coronavirus at the Tor Vergata hospital in Rome. Photo: AFP

When Italy first began listing its strict nationwide lockdown on May 4th, all eyes were nervously focused on the latest coronavirus data as we waited to see if lifting restrictions would provoke a spike in cases.

Six weeks on, no new spike in cases has been recorded. However, authorities remind us the risk is still there, as the country continues to record hundreds of new infections daily and dozens of new deaths.

READ ALSO: Easing Italy's lockdown 'is a risk we're taking': health minister

Here's what the latest offical data from Italy's Department for Civil Protection tells us about the progress of the virus.

43

The number of Covid-19 deaths recorded in the 24 hours to June 17th.

329

New cases confirmed in the 24 hours to June 17th.

73 percent

The percentage of these new cases which are in the Lombardy region alone. Lombardy, where the outbreak began, remains by far the worst-hit region in Italy, recoding 242 of the total 329 new cases on June 17th, according to the latest regional data released by the Department for Civil Protection

Six

The number of regions in Italy which reported zero new cases on June 17th. They were: Puglia, Umbria, Valle d'Aosta, Calabria and Basilicata, and the autonomous province of Bolzano

23,925

The number of people currently known to be infected with Covid-19 in Italy

109

The number of new cases detected in two new outbreaks in Rome this week, at a hospital and a squatted apartment building in the capital. Of these there have been five fatalities.

237,828

The total number of cases in Italy, including the currently positive, the deceased and the recovered, since the outbreak began.

A graph showing the number of recorded cases in Italy since February. Source: Department of Civil Protection

34,448

The total number of Covid-19 deaths recorded in Italy since the start of the outbreak. The number is widely believed to be underestimated.

READ ALSO: What's the problem with Italy's official coronavirus numbers?

16,278

The number of “excess deaths” in Italy at the height of the epidemic. The number of deaths in Italy has been 40 percent higher than average, with about 42,900 more people dying than usual.

This figure is calculated by comparing the death toll during Febuary-April 2020 to that during the same period in previous years, using data from Italy's National Institute of Statistics (Istat)

26,644 of those deaths have been attributed to Covid-19. 

16,278 are unaccounted for. 

A large majority of the excess deaths have been recorded in northern regions. Piedmont for example recorded 50 percent more deaths than normal, while some central and southern regions actually saw fewer deaths than usual.
 
82.5

The age of the average deceased Covid-19 patient in Italy. A new study by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), the italian Higher Health Institute, says the age has risen from steadily from March to June, and if looking at  data after May 4th it rises from 79.8 to 82.5.

The ISS wrote that this “could be due to a series of factors related to health care, from a better ability to treat the infection to a better organization in the fight against the epidemic.”

READ ALSO: When will a Covid-19 vaccine be available in Italy?

28,605

The number of healthcare workers in Italy who have been infected during the pandemic, according to a study by evidence-based medicine foundation Gimbe. The foundation says some 4,245 were infected within the past month.

163

The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care as of June 17th. This is a key number to watch as it gives an insight into the likely progression of the epidemic over the next weeks. 

 

A total of 3,113 people are being treated in hospital, while 20,649 people, equal to 86 percent of the currently positive, are in isolation without symptoms or with mild symptoms.

179,455

Hospitalised Covid-19 patients who have returned home and are classed as “recovered”.

Read all of The Local's coverage of the coronavirus crisis in Italy here.

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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.”

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