Italy coronavirus deaths rise by 683 in a day, lifting total death toll to 7,503

has added 683 more dead and 5,210 infections to its coronavirus toll, but its initial steep rise in cases has continued to level off two weeks into a nationwide lockdown. The new figures brought the number of infections to 74,386 and placed Italy on track to overtake China in the next day or two in having the most reported cases in the world.

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in has grown by 683 to 7,503, the Civil Protection Agency said on Wednesday, a decline in the daily tally of fatalities following a spike the day before.

On Tuesday 743 people died. That followed 602 deaths on Monday, 650 on Sunday and a record of 793 on Saturday -- the highest daily figure since the contagion came to light on Feb. 21.

The total number of confirmed cases in Italy rose to 74,386 from a previous 69,176, the Civil Protection Agency said.

The head of the agency, Angelo Borrelli, was not present at the customary news conference to illustrate the data because he came down with a fever on Wednesday and was himself being tested for coronavirus.

Dr. Massimo Galli of Milan's Sacco Hospital said that the infections being verified in these days result from before many of the containment measures went into effect March 11. He told SKY TG24 that in his estimation the restrictions won't be lifted any time soon.

"This is hard, but the numbers and facts say it," Galli said.

His team at the Sacco Hospital has determined that the virus has been circulating in Italy since Jan. 25-26, and that it took almost a month for it to become recognized, around Feb. 20-21. That puts Italy as of March 3 at the same place Wuhan, China was on Jan. 25, he said, noting that China is only coming out of tight restrictions now, two months later.

Of those originally infected nationwide, 9,362 had fully recovered on Wednesday compared to 8,326 the day before. There were 3,489 people in intensive care against a previous 3,396.

The hardest-hit northern region of Lombardy reported a sharp fall in the number of deaths compared with the day before, but remained in a critical situation, with a total of 4,474 deaths and 32,346 cases.

That compared with 4,178 deaths and 30,703 cases reported up to Tuesday.




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