Italy Back to Lockdown Figures as Covid-19 Cases Top 1,000 in 24 hours

Italy’s cases spike as infections exceed 1,000 for the first time since lockdown eased.

THE rise has been blamed on large gatherings caused by holidays and nightlife after a number of infections were found in returning travellers.

Italy’s health ministry reported 1,071 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours on Saturday, exceeding 1,000 cases in a day for the first time since May when the government eased the countries rigid lockdown measures. Italy was one of Europe’s worst-hit countries at the start of the crisis with more than 35,000 deaths and had so far managed to contain the Covid-19 outbreak after a peak in deaths and cases between March and April.

However, it has seen a steady increase in infections over the last month, with experts blaming holidays and nightlife for causing people to gather in large numbers. The last time the country last recorded a higher figure was on May 12, when 1,402 cases were reported, six days before restaurants, bars and shops were allowed to reopen after a 10-week lockdown.

Despite the rise in infections, daily death tallies actually remain low and are often in single figures. There were just three fatalities recorded on Saturday, compared to nine on Friday and six on Thursday, health ministry data showed.

Sardinia had been spared the first wave earlier this year but it is believed that the movement of tourists and people partying had helped spread the virus. Francesco Vaia, director of Rome’s Spallanzani Hospital specialising in infectious diseases, said: “the solution is to do tests on departing boats, planes and trains. This is the only way to prevent the virus from spreading.”


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Tony Winterburn

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