Coronavirus: Italy reports 28,337 new COVID-19 cases, 562 deaths

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Italy has registered 28,337 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Sunday, down from 34,767 the day before.

The ministry also reported 562 COVID 19-related deaths, down from 692 on Saturday and 699 on Friday.

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There were 188,747 coronavirus swabs carried out in the past day, the ministry said, against a previous 237,225.

Italy was the first Western country to be hit by the virus and has seen 49,823 COVID-19 fatalities since its outbreak emerged in February, the second highest toll in Europe after Britain’s. It has also registered 1.409 million cases.

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While Italy’s daily death tolls have been the highest in Europe over recent days, the increase in hospital admissions and intensive care occupancy has slowed.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 stood at 34,279 on Sunday, a rise of 216 from the day before. That compared with a daily increase of 106 on Saturday.

The number of patients in intensive care rose by 43, following an increase of just 10 on Saturday, and now stands at 3,801.

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When Italy’s second wave of the epidemic was accelerating fast, until around a week ago, hospital admissions were rising by around 1,000 per day, while intensive care occupancy was increasing by about 100 per day.

The northern region of Lombardy, centered on Italy’s financial capital Milan, remained the hardest hit area on Sunday, reporting 5,094 new cases.

The southern region of Campania, which has only about 60 percent of Lombardy’s population, chalked up the second highest number of new cases, at 3,217.