Covid-19: Italy records more than 3,600 new cases in a day as state of emergency extended

Covid-19: Italy records more than 3,600 new cases in a day as state of emergency extended
Photo: AFP
Italy reported a surge in confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday as the daily figure exceeded 3,000 for the first time in months.
Italian health authorities recorded 3,678 new cases of coronavirus within the past 24 hours on Wednesday – around a thousand more than Tuesday's figure.
 
This was the first time the number of new cases exceeded 3,000 since mid-April, Italy's health ministry said.
 
While Italy is still seeing fewer new infections than some other parts of Europe, numbers are steadily rising. Italy had recorded around 2,500 new cases on average daily since October 1st.
 
The number of tests carried out in Italy over the past 24 hours was high – 125,314 – however the percentage of swabs which came back positive was 2.9 percent,  only a slight increase.

 
Hospitalisations also continue to rise steadily, with 337 patients now in intensive care.
 
There were 31 deaths recorded on Wednesday, meaning the overall Italian death toll is now 36,061
 
There are now almost 59,000 people in Italy known to be currently infected.
 
While the situation had previously been more serious in northern Italy, numbers are now rising across the country.
 
The region with the most new cases on Wednesday was Campania in the south, with 544, followed by Lombardy with 520, data from health authorities showed.
 
 
Italy's coronavirus emergency commissioner Domenico Arcuri said earlier on Wednesday that the number of new infections was still “manageable”, but added “we must prepare ourselves for the possibility that they will grow.”
 
He said italy had boosted its intensive care capacity and strengthened the healthcare system since the pandemic first hit Italy in March.

 
Wednesday's figures were reported hours after Italy's parliament approved an extension to the current state of emergency, which will now stay in place until January 21st, 2021 – a year since it was first introduced.
Italy's government on Wednesday also tightened some rules in response to recent rises in new cases of Covid-19.
 
An update to existing emergency measures, which comes into force on Thursday, makes wearing a mask obligatory whenever you leave your home, at all times of the day and in all parts of the country.
 
The government has also raised the fines for refusing to wear a mask to between €400 and €1,000, with police patrols deployed to check that people are complying. Until now the maximum penalty was €400, though some regions had introduced higher fines locally.
 
Italy's government was also expected to sign off on a wider range of new rules on Wednesday under a new emergency decree, but that has now been postponed and current rules will stay in place until October 15th.
 
You can follow all of The Local's latest updates on the coronavirus situation in Italy here.

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