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Italy: Virus cases, deaths down for 2nd consecutive day

Italy: Virus cases, deaths down for 2nd consecutive day
Total number of fatalities rises above 60,000, 2nd highest in Europe after UK

By Giada Zampano

ROME - Italy on Sunday recorded a fall in both the number of daily deaths and new infections from the novel coronavirus for the second day in a row.

According to the latest Health Ministry data, the new fatalities stood at 564, down from 662 on Saturday, bringing the national death toll above 60,000 -- the second-highest in Europe after the UK.

Although the number of fatalities are below the peak of 900 seen earlier this week, experts explained that it still reflects the rising number of infections registered over the past three weeks.

The country also recorded 18,887 new cases of the novel coronavirus, down from over 21,000 on Saturday. New infections are usually lower during the weekend since they reflect a smaller number of swab tests executed.

The general trend seen over the past two weeks, however, confirms that the contagion curve is decelerating, scientists said.

The infection rate rose slightly to 11.5% on Sunday, but still far from the peak of 18% hit in October, when the contagion curve spiked up after a summer lull.

Struggling to contain the second wave of the pandemic, the government adopted stricter measures for the Christmas period in a bid to allow people to celebrate without risking a third wave of infections early next year.

The new curbs include an almost total ban on international movements and among Italian regions from Dec. 21 to Jan. 6, aimed at avoiding the spread of the virus across the country and limiting huge get-togethers.

The restrictions will be even tougher on Dec. 25-26 and Jan. 1, when citizens will not be allowed inter-city travel.

source: News Feed
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