Italy has recorded the highest daily Covid-19 death toll since April – when it first came into the grip of the virus.
Another 731 coronavirus-related deaths added to Italy’s death toll today.
The figure is the highest since April 3, when the country was completely closed off nationally.
Italy was the first Western country to be affected by the virus, and there have been 46,464 Covid-19 fatalities since the February outbreak.
It has the second highest toll in Europe, after Great Britain, and 1.24 million cases.
The northern region of Lombardy, centered on Milan, Italy’s financial capital, remained the worst affected area today, reporting 8,448 new cases, up from 4,128 on Monday.
The soaring death toll in Italy reflects the grim reality it faced in the early pandemic, when hospitals and morgues were pushed to breaking point.
In early October, the Italian government introduced a colored three-layer system to prevent the spread of the virus.
In the red zones – which include Lombardy, Tuscany, Calabria, the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, Liguria, Piemonte and Aosta Valley – residents can only leave the house for work, health reasons, essential shopping or emergencies.
The restrictions have been met with protests in several cities, including Milan and Turin.
Andrea Crisanti, director of microbiology and virology at the University of Padua, today suggested that restrictions may need to be tightened.
“Next week we will know if the (contamination) curve has stabilized or is starting to decline,” he told ANSA news agency.
“If it doesn’t come down, it will be necessary to do something else.
“The social and emotional cost is immense – 9,000 people have died since the start of the second wave, let’s not forget that.”
Yesterday it was reported that the coronavirus may have been circulating in Italy several months earlier than previously thought.
Scientists in the country say they have found evidence of previous circulation by checking blood samples from patients participating in a cancer study.
According to the Milan National Cancer Institute, samples from four patients, dating back to early October 2019, were found to contain antibodies.
The results mean that they would have contracted the corona virus in September.
Italy registered its first official Covid-19 patient on Feb. 21 in a city near Milan.