Italy records more deaths, but rate of contagion continues to slow
April 01 2020 01:24 AM
Municipal police officers stand at attention beside the flags of (from left) Europe, Italy and Rome, flying at half-mast during a minute of silence outside Rome’s city hall at Capitoline Hill (Campidoglio).


Italy reported yesterday 837 more deaths linked to the Covid-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus, but the spread of the epidemic in the country has continued to slow down.
With the latest daily bulletin from the Civil Protection Agency, Italy’s death toll climbed to 12,428, by far the highest figure in the world.
Total infections, including recoveries and deaths, reached 105,792, a 4% increase from Monday.
It was the lowest daily variation registered since the start of the outbreak.
“We are in a situation in which we have reached a kind of plateau” in the contagion curve, Silvio Brusaferro, head of the National Health Institute, said.
“Reaching the plateau does not mean that we have conquered the peak and now that’s it. It means we have to start the descent,” he added, renewing calls for no let-up in national lockdown measures.
Active cases, excluding deaths and recoveries, were up by 2.8% to 77,635, while the number of patients who have beaten the virus rose by 7.6% to 15,729.
Yesterday public buildings across Italy had their flags at half-mast to commemorate the victims of the epidemic.
The Vatican did the same with its flags in a sign of solidarity.
Italy’s outbreak, the first and largest in Europe, began on February 20.
The country has been under lockdown for most of March, and the restrictions are due to remain at least until Easter, or April 12.
Italians are under strict orders to stay home unless for work, emergencies and unavoidable errands like buying food and medicines or taking the dog out.
However, children were set to be granted some fresh air.
According to press reports, the interior ministry issued new guidelines allowing one parent to take them out for short walks near home.
Italian Family Minister Elena Bonetti, deputy Health Minister Sandra Zampa, and Alberto Villani, the head of the Italian Society of Paediatrics, had called for the concession in a joint statement.
Doctor Roberto Bernabei, a government scientific adviser, said in a press conference that the new guidelines would grant “the right to [enjoy some] sun and spring”.

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