Coronavirus: Italy records lowest daily death toll since March 19

12 April 2020, 19:47

Italian officials confident peak of crisis has passed
Italian officials confident peak of crisis has passed. Picture: Getty

By Matt Drake

Italy has recorded the lowest number of new coronavirus deaths since March.

Italy has recorded the lowest number of new coronavirus deaths in three weeks, saying 431 people died in the past day to bring its total to 19,899. It was the lowest day-to-day toll since March 19.

For the ninth day running, intensive care admissions were down and hospital admissions overall were down.

More than 4,000 people tested positive as Italy began its fifth week under nationwide lockdown, continuing a general flattening in its infection curve.

But officials have noted that Italy has also increased its testing capacity in recent days, yielding more positive cases but allowing for more effective quarantine measures for people once they know they are infected.

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Italy crossed the one million virus test mark on Sunday, doubling the number of tests since the end of March. Overall, 156,363 people have been confirmed as positive, although officials note that the true number of infected could be as much as 10 times that, particularly in hard-hit Lombardy.

Meanwhile, Italy's civil protection agency has arranged for rescued migrants to be placed in quarantine to check for coronavirus infections on ships or on land.

Civil protection chief Angelo Borrelli said he signed the order after Italy banned foreign-flagged migrant rescue ships from its ports last week.

Mr Borrelli said the new provision would be in effect to provide medical checks and quarantine for the 156 migrants currently aboard the German-flagged charity rescue ship Alan Kurdi. Migrants who reach the Italian territory on their own would be quarantined on land.

Meanwhile the Pope went against centuries of tradition to hold an Easter service on the internet.

He said: "Tonight we acquire a fundamental right that can never be taken away from us: the right to hope.

"It is a new and living hope that comes from God."