Italy reports 2,500 new coronavirus cases in a day for the first time since April

Italy reports 2,500 new coronavirus cases in a day for the first time since April
Rome's Lazio region is now one of the worst-hit parts of Italy as cases rise again. Photo: AFP
Italy on Thursday reported its highest daily number of new Covid-19 cases in the past five months, as a record number of tests were carried out.

Italian health authorities recorded 2,548 new cases of coronavirus detected within the past 24 hours on Thursday – a significant increase from 1,851 on Wednesday.

This was the first time the number of new cases has exceeded 2,000 since the end of April, shortly before Italy began loosening its lockdown rules.

READ ALSO: 'A difficult 7-8 months ahead' Italian health minister warns public

Health authorities carried out a record number of tests in the 24-hour period: 118,236, about 13 thousand more than the day before.

 
Hospitalisations continue to rise steadily, with 291 patients now in intensive care, an increase of 11 in 24 hours.
 
There were 24 deaths recorded on Thursday, meaning the overall Italian death toll is now 35,918.

 
The total number of infected people since the beginning of the emergency rises to 317,409. 
 
Earlier on Thursday, Italian health minister Roberto Speranza warned the public to expect “a difficult 7-8 months ahead” and urged people to keep following the rules.
 
“In the months ahead, in which we do not have the Covid vaccine or cure, we will need correct behaviour from people,” he said, adding “that is what enabled us to bring down the curve in previous months”.
 
“The Italians, against every stereotype that we have had to deal with, have been the most orderly, loyal, and extraordinary country ever seen,” added the minister.
 
 
 
His words came after Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed on Thursday that the government plans to extend the current state of emergency until January 31st, 2021 – one year since it was first introduced.
 
The numbers have been rising in Italy since the end of July, with recent spikes in the infection rate in some areas including the city of Naples, which recently ordered that masks must be worn in public at all times in response to the uptick in infections.
 
The Lazio region is expected to announce similar rules on mask-wearing in public, the Ansa news agency reported.
 
 
Italian officials continue to recommend social distancing and frequent hand-washing, and there are strict rules on mask-wearing in the country.
 
It remains mandatory to wear a mask outside between 6pm and 6am. The rule applies in all areas where there's a risk of crowding, like busy squares and streets lined with bars.

Police regularly patrol to enforce the rules and there are fines of up to €400 if you fail to comply.

You can follow all of The Local's latest updates on the coronavirus situation in Italy here.


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