Jump in Covid-19 deaths dashes Italian hopes worst was over

A woman and volunteers wearing protective face masks and gloves attend to food distribution organised by the Sant'Egidio Community at the San Gaudenzio parish during the Covid-19 lockdown in Rome Italy

Italy Reports 63,927 Coronavirus Cases, Death Toll At 6,077

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has grown by 602 to 6,077, the head of the Civil Protection Agency said yesterday, the smallest rise in numerical terms since Thursday, suggesting a clear downward trend.

On Saturday, Italy had seen its worst day yet, losing a total of 793 people in a single day to the virus that originated in Wuhan, China, with Sunday and Monday's death tolls (651 and 601) seeming to decline, only to spike back up on Tuesday.

"A ratio of one certified case out of every 10 is credible", Angelo Borrelli told La Repubblica newspaper, indicating he believed some 700,000 people could have been infected.

As of yesterday (24th March 2020), over 743 deaths were reported in Italy, bringing the national total now to 6,820 deaths as a result of Covid-19.

As well, a total of 8,326 patients have recovered, said Borrelli who is also the national commissioner in charge of the coronavirus emergency.

Italy has reported a drop in deaths and infections from COVID-19 for the second day in a row.

The number of deaths also did not rise by as much. There were 3,204 people in intensive care against a previous 3,009.

The decree sets 31 July as the end of the state of emergency but Conte was quick to assure Italians that they would not be locked up in their houses until that date.

Conte said he is hoping to do away with the lockdown as soon as possible.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs forecast on Tuesday that the Italian economy, already teetering on recession before the outbreak hit, would shrink by more than 11% this year.

Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri told parliament he expected a contraction of "a few percentage points".

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, with 1.3 billion people going into lockdown from midnight on Tuesday.

However, there has been pushback as workers in the metal, chemical, textile, rubber-plastic and paper industries plan to go on strike on Wednesday.

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