The coronavirus pandemic has claimed 6,820 lives in locked down Italy as of Tuesday with the cumulative total number reaching 69,176, according to new data released by the Civil Protection Department.
Speaking at a televised press conference, Civil Protection Department Chief Angelo Borrelli said Italy reported 5,249 new cases of coronavirus and 743 new deaths on Tuesday and that 54,030 people are currently positive for the coronavirus, one month after the pandemic broke out in northern Italy on Feb. 21.
As well, a total of 8,326 patients have recovered, said Borrelli who is also the national commissioner in charge of the coronavirus emergency.
The numbers are up from an official tally on Monday evening of 50,418 active infections, 6,077 deaths, and 7,432 recoveries.
Borrelli also confirmed that former Civil Protection Department chief Guido Bertolaso has tested positive for the virus.
Franco Locatelli, president of Italy’s Higher Health Council, denied media rumors that the nationwide lockdown, which under the current government decree expires on April 3, might be extended to the end of July. “Absolutely not,” Locatelli said.
The Italian government has approved a new decree introducing fines of 400 to 3,000 euros (430 to 3,228 U.S. dollars) for people caught violating the government’s anti-coronavirus lockdown rules, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a televised press conference on Tuesday.
Under Italy’s lockdown rules, people are not allowed to leave their homes except for buying food, going to the pharmacy, walking their dogs, or going to work if they are employed in key sectors such as health care or food production.
People are also not allowed to travel between municipalities.
Conte added that the new decree gives regional governors the power to impose stiffer lockdown rules if needed.
The prime minister denied media rumors that the national lockdown would be prolonged to July 31, and not to April 3 as per the current decree.
Italy declared on Jan. 31 a six-month national state of emergency due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Conte clarified that the state of emergency therefore ends on July 31, while the lockdown measures expire on April 3.