ROME — The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Italy has surged by 793 to a total of 4,825, officials said on Saturday.
The report cited an increase of 19.6 percent in Italy, by far the largest daily increase in absolute terms since COVID-19 emerged a month ago.
The number of COVID-19 infections rose by 6,557 to 53,578, from a previous 47,021, an increase of 13.9 percent, which according to the Civil Protection Agency is another record.
Around 80 percent of cases of COVID-19 will be a mild to moderate illness, close to 14 percent have severe disease and around 6 percent are critical.
Italy surpassed China last Thursday as the country to have the most deaths from COVID-19.
The hardest-hit northern region of Lombardy remains in a critical situation, with 3,095 deaths and 25,515 cases. It accounts for nearly two-thirds of Italy’s fatalities.
Of those originally infected nationwide, 6,072 had fully recovered on Saturday compared to 5,129 the day before.
There were 2,857 people in intensive care against a previous 2,655, the report also said.
The Lazio region that includes Rome has recorded a total of 50 deaths and 1,190 infections.
Generally, a person needs to be 15 minutes or more in the vicinity of an infected person, within 1 to 2 meters, to be considered at-risk or a close contact.
Italy’s data suggest that the pandemic is breaking through the government’s various containment and social distancing measures.
The Mediterranean nation of 60 million has been under an effective lockdown since March 12, when public gatherings were banned and most stores shuttered.
Police were monitoring across the streets of Rome on Saturday, as they checked documents and imposing fines against those outside without a valid reason.
The virus was first reported in December in China and has since transformed the world, straining health care systems, upending lives for millions and pulling down stock markets globally.
The figures released showed deaths still largely contained to Italy’s richer north, whose world-class healthcare system is creaking.
The poorer south regions have registered a few dozen deaths each — but which the government in Rome is also watching closely./Stacy Ang