Rome, Oct 10 : Italy reported 5,372 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, which took the overall tally to 343,770, according to the Health Ministry.
By mid-August, the country’s infection rate remained steady in the low hundreds, even as they climbed in other parts of Europe, reports Xinhua news agency.
But in the last three days, the country’s infection rate has witnessed a jump with 1,000 cases — 2,676 on Tuesday, 3,678 on Wednesday and 4,458 on Thursday followed by Friday’s grim 5,372, according the Health Ministry.
Over the last week, the Italian government has once against tightened restrictions based on recommendations from health officials, including the mandatory use of face masks in outdoor spaces and checking body temperature controls before entering any public building.
Businesses are required to offer disinfectant gel to their patrons.
With the national state of emergency extended into 2021, the government retains the power to close down neighbourhoods or towns incase of a resurgence.
Italian news reports quoted government sources as saying the next step could be closing down bars and gymnasiums.
But schools, which reopened month ago, are expected to stay open for the time being.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Health Minister Roberto Speranza have both vowed to do everything possible to avoid a national coronavirus lockdown like the one applied in early March and gradually eased starting in May.
In the recent wave of new cases, the biggest hotspots in the country are in and around Milan, which bore the brunt of the first wave of the pandemic in March and April, and near the sprawling southern port city of Naples, which was largely spared in the spring.
There were 387 patients in intensive care units Friday, another data point that has seen a steady rise in recent weeks. Two weeks ago, the number was 246.
The mortality rate in Italy has remained low despite the rise in the infection rate and the slow increase in the number of patients in intensive-care units.
The death toll increased to 36,111 after 28 new deaths were recorded on Friday.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.