Italy reports fewest coronavirus deaths in weeks


Italy, one of the European nations hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, on Sunday reported the lowest single-day death toll in 2 ½ weeks, its third consecutive daily decline.

The Sunday death toll, 525, was Italy’s lowest since March 19, contributing to a total of 15,887 since the beginning of the outbreak.

New confirmed cases were also down, totaling 4,316, compared to 4,805 the previous day, Bloomberg reported. The nation’s total number of cases stands at 128,948, slightly below that of Spain, according to the news outlet.

The decline may be an indication that the social distancing measures imposed by Italian officials are bearing fruit. The country’s strict lockdown remains in effect, and the northern Lombardy region, the early epicenter of the outbreak, began requiring anyone leaving the house to cover their mouths and noses if they ventured outside. Tuscany has imposed similar rules.

Since March 11, police have levied fines against more than 175,000 people, with the lockdown set to continue through at least April 13.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said updated regulations and timelines will be announced by the end of next week.

“Our response has not been perfect, maybe, but we have been acting [to] the best of our knowledge,” Conte said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, adding that he was unsure when restrictions would be lifted. “Today, I see that our model is implemented by other countries, and its validity has been acknowledged by the [World Health Organization], and the results so far indicate that we are on the right path.”

Conte’s government will meet Monday as it finalizes new measures for providing liquidity to companies most drastically affected by the ongoing outbreak, according to Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri, with the government guaranteeing loans of up to 800,000 euros at 100 percent.

Spain also saw its third straight drop in daily deaths from the virus Sunday, Bloomberg noted.

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