Italy reports 566 new deaths, infections slow down

Italy reports 566 new deaths, infections slow down
  • Clock-gray 21:48
  • calendar-gray 13 April 2020

Italy on Easter Monday reported 566 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, accelerating from the previous day and bringing the total number of fatalities to 20,465, APA reports citing AA.

Current infections grew 1.3% from Sunday to 103,616 -- down from the 2% increase seen 24 hours before. The number of recovered people continued to climb to 35,435, while the number of intensive care patients dropped for the tenth consecutive day, lifting the burden over Italy’s struggling healthcare system.

The epicenter of the Italian outbreak remains the northern Lombardy region, which now counts 10,901 victims, more than half of the total.

Despite mounting pressure to start lifting some of the stringent measures – at least for Italy’s struggling businesses – Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Friday announced the extension of an almost total lockdown until May 3. Among a few exceptions are book and stationery shops and baby clothing stores which will be allowed to reopen starting Tuesday.

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, which will be gradually introduced after May 3.

While Piedmont and Lombardy – among the worst-hit regions –decided to keep the strict quarantine rules in place, limiting the activities allowed to reopen, other northern regions, such as Veneto and Liguria, chose a different approach.

Veneto, for instance, started a new phase that its Governor Luca Zaia, dubbed “soft lockdown”.

With a new order issued on Monday, Zaia relaxed the limit of 200-meter from home for jogging and physical exercise and allowed open-air markets. He also allowed picnics and barbecues for the upcoming celebrations of April 25 Liberation Day and May Day – very popular among Italians – but only within private courtyards and only with family members.

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