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Coronavirus: Italy records hopeful figures

Credit: Belga

Italy, the country hardest hit by the new coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, recorded new hopeful figures on Wednesday, including a drop in the number of deaths and patients in intensive care.

The country recorded 542 new deaths on Wednesday, which is fewer than the 604 new deaths recorded on Tuesday and the 636 on Monday. The total number of deaths has reached 17,669.

For the fifth day in a row, the number of patients in intensive care has dropped. At the moment, 3,693 patients are in the ICU, which is a similar number to that of 26 March, according to the balance sheet released by the Italian Civil Protection services.

Similarly, the number of recovered people reached a “record” of 2,099 in 24 hours, said the head of the Civil Defence Angelo Borrelli, reports the Belga press agency.

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Lombardy remains the hardest-hit region, and has recorded 9,722 deaths, or about half of Italy’s total. The region also has more than 53,000 confirmed cases, while the whole country recorded 139,422 cases.

“We found ourselves in a mushroom cloud that knocked down the most fragile people in the region, in hospitals or residential care centres, indiscriminately,” Giulio Gallera, Lombardy’s health manager, told Radio 24.

Despite these encouraging signs, those in charge are calling for caution, and not to slacken the effort in the immediate future, respecting the rules of containment and social distancing.

Despite “the reduction in arrivals in emergency and intensive care (…) we are in the middle of a battle,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Tuesday. “The only weapon we have is social distancing, respect for the rules. We must not think we’ve won the battle. The situation is and remains serious, and cannot be underestimated,” he added.

Update: this story has been updated to correct a mistake by the Belga News Agency.

The Brussels Times