Health News

Italy tops 3,000 daily coronavirus cases for first time since April

A friar wearing a protective face mask is seen near the Colosseum, as local authorities order face coverings to be worn at all times out of doors in an effort to counter rising coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections, in Rome, Italy October 7, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

ROME (Reuters) - Italy has registered 3,678 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Wednesday, the first time the country has exceeded 3,000 cases in a single day since April.

There were also 31 COVID-related deaths on Wednesday against 28 the day before -- far fewer than at the height of the pandemic in Italy in March and April.

Italy was the first country in Europe to be slammed by COVID-19 and has the second highest death toll after Britain in the continent, with 36,061 dying since the outbreak flared in February, according to official figures. It has also registered 333,940 cases.

Thanks to one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, the government managed to get the contagion under control by the summer.

Cases have steadily picked up over the past two months, however there are still far fewer daily infections in Italy than elsewhere in Europe, with France, Spain and Britain all registering thousands more cases per day.

The last time Italy recorded more than 3,000 cases was April 24, with 3,022 infections reported just a few weeks before the government allowed restaurants, bars and shops to reopen. On that same day, some 420 people died.

Reporting By Gavin Jones and Angelo Amante