Covid-19 death toll in Italy tops 60,000
More than 60,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Italy, according to an official toll published Sunday.
Italy, the first European country to be hit hard by the coronavirus, has recorded 60,078 deaths from 1,728,878 infections, the health ministry reported.
Despite all the steps the government has taken to curb the latest outbreak and care for the sick, hundreds of people are dying daily.
On Thursday, Italy recorded a record 993 deaths, the highest toll since the epidemic erupted in the first months of the year.
With one death for 1,000 inhabitants, Italy is suffering from one of the world's worst tolls in Europe and the world.
Its mortality rate, or the ratio of deaths to infections, stands at 3.47 percent. Only Britain has a higher rate in Europe with 3.55 percent.
By comparison, Spain's rate is 2.75 percent and France is at 2.35 percent.
Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza warned against easing steps taken to curb the virus during the holiday season.
"If we drop our guard, we run the risk of finding ourselves in January and February facing a new (infection) surge," Speranza said on SkyTG24 television. "And that we cannot allow."
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Thursday outlined a set of restrictive measures to be put in place around Christmas.
He announced a ban on movements between regions from December 21 until January 6, including for Italians who wanted to spend time in their second homes.
There is also a ban on moving from one town to another for 25-26 December as well as on January 1.
A curfew from 10:00 pm until 5:00 am remains in place, with it lasting until 7:00 am on New Year's Eve.
Ski slopes and mechanical lifts are to remain closed until January 7.
© 2020 AFP