Italy records 3,000 new COVID-19 cases ahead of easing lockdown measures

It comes as the country begins looking to loosen it’s lockdown restrictions. The death toll in the country is still rising, hitting 602 in 24 hours.

Rome has begun ordering a small selection of stores to reopen, including bookshops and stationary stores.

They’re being used as trials to see how social distancing measures can still be in effect after the lockdown begins to lift.

Lockdown measures remain in force in the country despite the number of new cases falling.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte ordered lockdown measures on the 9 March to slow the spread of the disease.

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Lockdown measures are expected to remain in place until May 3 in the country.

Giuseppe Conte spoke to the BBC about the trials and his hope for what they may achieve.

He said: “We need to pick sectors that can restart their activity.

“If scientists confirm it, we might begin to relax some measures already by the end of this month.”

Most regions have chosen not to take advantage of the trials.

Bookshops will not open for another week in Rome and will stay closed altogether in Lombardy.

Lombardy was the epicentre of Italy’s outbreak of coronavirus, seeing 11,142 deaths as of Tuesday.

The country has the third highest total number of cases in the world, behind the United States and Spain with 162,488.

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Gionvanni Rezza, a top Italian infectious diseases expert, told reporters that the data was hard to read as they may be misleading.

Due to the isolation measures, new cases may be representative of three week old data.

He said: “The time that passes between the moment of contagion and the moment we receive the data could be 20 days.

“So when you read that there are 300 new cases, these cases were infections acquired 20 days ago.”

Other positives signs for Italy include a decline in intensive care patients.

Tuesday saw 3,186 people hospitalised in intensive care, declining consistently for the last 11 days.

Of those originally infected, 37,130 were declared recovered against 35,435 on Monday.

Total new infections have dropped to a figure of 2 percent.

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