Italy, Covid-19 cases rise and fatalities reach 33,000


ITALY’S new coronavirus cases rose on Wednesday to 584, up from the 397 the day before and 300 on Monday. Deaths due to Covid-19 have now reached 33,000.

The daily deaths for Wednesday were 117, up from 78 on Tuesday, making a total of 33,072 fatalities since the outbreak of the virus in the country in late February.

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Lombardy, the worst-hit region by the virus, reported 384 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, up from 159 a day earlier.

On May 18, bars and restaurants were allowed to open to the public. While social distancing regulations were put in place, cities such as Milan have seen some people taking a lax attitude to the rules.

Italy’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, has warned that crowds outside bars ignoring social distancing and not wearing face masks may mean steps backwards in the country’s reopening will have to be taken.

“It’s not the time for parties, nightlife, or gatherings,” Conte said. “During this phase, more than ever it’s fundamental to respect security distances and wear masks, where necessary.”

Italy is due to open regional borders and to open to some European countries on June 3, but authorities have warned that this will only happen if the number of cases and deaths from coronavirus don’t see a second wave.

Italy’s minister of regional affairs Francesco Boccia has floated the idea for the recruitment of 60,000 volunteers to help monitor and enforce social distancing rules. June 2 is Republic Day, a national holiday in Italy, and will likely see many Italians heading to beaches or travelling around their regions.


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