New coronavirus cases drop in Italy for second day

Italy recorded a lower day-to-day increase of coronavirus cases for the second day in a row Monday, officials said.

Italy’s Civil Protection agency documented 4,789 new cases Monday, 700 less than the 5,560 new cases reported Sunday, The Associated Press reported. But officials cautioned that it’s too early to know if the worst is behind the country that has experienced the most deaths due to the virus.

The day-to-day death count also fell to just over 600 deaths Monday compared to 651 on Sunday.

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The coronavirus has hit Italy hard, overwhelming its health care system and killing 6,077 people. The country has 63,927 confirmed cases, compared to China’s 81,496.

Before the recent decrease, Italy had seen the daily death toll from COVID-19 rise to new highs.

One of Italy’s national health officials, Silvio Brusaferro, warned against any optimism, saying the decrease in new cases reflected actions taken at the beginning of the month.

“We need more consecutive results to confirm the trend, to be more certain that we are in a favorable situation,” Brusaferro said, according to the AP.

The U.S. trails Italy for the third-most confirmed COVID-19 cases at more than 41,500, with 573 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Public officials have warned the U.S. could follow in Italy's footsteps if precautions are not taken.