Italy’s coronavirus death toll nears 20,000

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Italy on Saturday reported 619 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, taking its total since the end of February to 19,468, higher than any other country.

The toll announced by Italy’s civil protection service is higher than the 18,860 deaths estimated for the United States by Johns Hopkins University.

Visit our dedicated coronavirus site here for all the latest updates.

The grim milestone was reached as President Donald Trump mulled over when the country, which has registered more than half a million infections, might begin to see a return to normality.

On Friday, President Trump ordered top US administration officials to help Italy in fighting the virus by providing medical supplies, humanitarian relief and other assistance.

Italian media reported on Thursday that a two-month-old baby who was believed to have been Italy’s youngest COVID-19 patient has been released from hospital after overcoming the disease.

The baby was no longer running a temperature or fever and was released with her mother, who has recovered from a bout of pneumonia, the reports said.

The two were hospitalized in the southern city of Bari on March 18.

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