Coronavirus: Hard-hit region in Italy shows growth

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The number of people testing positive for coronavirus in Italy grew by 2,646 in the last 24 hours, including 40 percent of those in the hard-hit Lombardy region where the first domestically transmitted case was confirmed just over two months ago.

That brings to 189,973 the total number of positives as of Thursday. Testing has been expanded but it still doesn’t reach every suspected case, including many at home who believe they may be infected but aren’t able to get tested.

The number of positives in Italy grew by a rate of 1.4 percent, indicating a national slowing of infection, as the country prepares to ease a nationwide lockdown. Premier Giuseppe Conte is expected to announce details in the coming days.

Deaths in Italy climbed by 464 on Thursday, against 437 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said.

The total official death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 25,549, the agency said, the second highest in the world after that of the US.

The number of confirmed cases is the third highest global tally behind those of the US and Spain.

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