Italy records lowest COVID-19 deaths in nearly 6 weeks
Rome, April 26 (IANS) In another sign of encouragement, Italy reported 415 new COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours, the smallest daily increase since March 18, fresh figures showed.
Saturday's number of new deaths was five fewer from Friday's 420, according to figures from the country's Civil Protection Department. It raised the nationwide fatalities to 26,384 since the pandemic broke out in northern Italy earlier this year, reports Xinhua news agency.
Total active infections stood at 105,847, down by 680 cases compared to the previous day, according to the latest data. This is the sixth consecutive daily drop in the number of active infections in Italy.
The overall number of cases in Italy stood at 195,351.
Italy entered a national lockdown on March 10 to contain the pandemic.
The lockdown, which is expected to last until May 3, will be followed by a so-called “Phase Two,” which involves “the gradual resumption of social, economic and productive activities”, according to the government.
Speaking at a televised press conference on Saturday, Extraordinary Commissioner for the Coronavirus Emergency Domenico Arcuri said that winning the war against the new coronavirus will depend on individual decisions once the national lockdown ends on May 3.
Arcuri said that blood testing for antibodies to the new coronavirus — to find out what percentage, if any, of the population has unknowingly come in contact with the virus at some point — will begin on May 4.
The serological survey is a key part of Italy's public health strategy to contain the virus during Phase Two of the emergency, when businesses will gradually reopen and isolation measures will be eased after the end of the lockdown.