Italy reports 602 new deaths, infections hit new low

Italy reports 602 new deaths, infections hit new low

Italy on Tuesday reported 602 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, accelerating from the previous day and bringing the total number of fatalities to 21,067.

However, current infections grew only 0.6% from Monday to 104,291 — touching the lowest level since early March.

The number of recovered people continued to climb to 37,130, while the number of intensive care patients dropped for the 11th consecutive day, further lifting the burden over Italy’s struggling healthcare system.

The epicenter of the Italian outbreak remains the northern Lombardy region, which now counts 11,142 victims, more than half of the total.

Waiting for a gradual lifting of the nationwide lockdown from May 3, a few regions on Tuesday allowed the reopening of book and stationery stores and baby clothing shops, following the government decree issued last week.

However, each region decided to implement the new rules in a different way, splitting over how to prepare the so-called “phase-2” of the recovery.

Lombardy and Piemonte, for instance, kept their book and stationery stores closed, while Lazio postponed the reopening until April 20. On the other hand, Veneto started what its governor dubbed a “soft lockdown,” also relaxing some of the rules on jogging and physical exercise.

The government, however, is still struggling to plan the recovery phase and protect Italy’s fragile economic system, as the country faces its worst recession since World War II.

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund projected that the global economy would shrink by 3% in 2020 amid the global coronavirus pandemic. The Italian economy is expected to fall by 9.1%, more than the rest of the eurozone.— By Giada Zampano /

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