Italy sees new COVID-19 cases falling, ICU patients keep decreasing


(Photo: Sina)

ROME, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Italy saw 1,900 new COVID-19 infections and 1,665 new recoveries in the last 24 hours, bringing the nationwide total to 209,328 and 79,914, respectively, according to the latest numbers released by the Civil Protection Department on Saturday.

New fatalities reported on Saturday were 474, bringing the toll to 28,710 since the pandemic first broke out in the country's northern Lombardy region on Feb. 21.

Of those 100,704 infected, 1,539 are in intensive care (down by 39 compared to the day before) and 17,357 are hospitalized in normal wards (down by 212). The rest, about 81 percent of those who tested positive, are in isolation at home.

Italy entered into a national lockdown on March 10 to contain the pandemic. The lockdown, expected to last until May 3, will be followed by a so-called "Phase Two," which involves the gradual resumption of social, economic and productive activities.

Starting on May 4, the manufacturing, construction, and wholesale sectors will reopen, to be followed by retailers, museums, galleries, and libraries on May 18, and bars, restaurants, hairdressers and beauty salons on June 1. All businesses will have to follow rigorous workplace safety protocols.