Rome, April 17 (IANS) The coronavirus pandemic has claimed 22,170 lives in locked-down Italy, bringing the total number of cases, including fatalities and recoveries, so far to 168,941, according to the latest data released by the country’s Civil Protection Department.

Speaking during a televised press conference, Civil Protection Department Chief Angelo Borrelli on Thursday confirmed that there were 1,189 new active coronavirus infections compared to Wednesday, bringing the nationwide total to 106,607, Xinhua reported.

Of those infected, 26,893 or 25 per cent of the total, are hospitalised — down by 750 compared to Wednesday, and 2,936 patients, or 2.75 per cent, are in intensive care — down by 143.

“This is the lowest number of patients in intensive care since March 22,” said Borrelli.

The rest, or 72 per cent of all positive cases, are quarantined at home, Borrelli said, adding that a total of 61,000 swabs have been carried out over the past 24 hours.

He added that there were 2,072 additional recoveries compared to Wednesday, taking the total to 40,164.

The death toll on Thursday was 525, bringing the total to 22,170 since the pandemic first broke out in northern Italy on Feb. 21.

Among the dead are 127 doctors, according to the National Federation of Orders of Surgeons and Dentists (FNOMCeO), which is keeping a running tally of doctors who gave up their lives in the battle against the virus.

Also present at Thursday’s press conference was National Institute of Health President Silvio Brusaferro, who said that “as we have seen over the past few days, we are in a descending trend” in terms of the epidemiological curve.

In response to a question from reporters about blood tests to detect coronavirus antibodies, Brusaferro said “we know there are many products on the market, which is a good thing, but we also know these are recently launched products, and they are being assessed for their effectiveness, sensitivity and specificity.”

The national lockdown went into effect March 10 and has been extended to May 3.




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