Italy confirmed 19,143 more cases on Friday- the highest daily in the country tally since the pandemic began.
Infections steadily declined over the summer but have accelerated in the last few months. They are now far more widely distributed around the country than during Italy’s first wave, but the hardest-hit region is once again Lombardy, around the financial capital Milan. Lombardy accounted for almost 5,000 of the country’s new cases, with Milan and its hinterland close to 2,000 infections over the last 24 hours.
Italy was the first country in Europe to be slammed by COVID-19 and has the second-highest death toll in the continent after Britain, with 36,832 fatalities since the outbreak flared in February, according to official figures. Popular tourist landmarks were deserted as the 12.00-midnight curfews impacted on nightlife, restaurants have to close at 9.00 pm.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said he is determined to avoid another national lockdown of the kind imposed between March and May and is instead urging local authorities to decide what is best for their own regions.
Italian police clashed with protesters in Naples on Friday evening over the COVID curfew and restrictions, unemployment in the south of the country is now twice that of Northern regions.
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