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Global Times

Italy's coronavirus data still positive despite cluster outbreaks in 11 hotspots

Global Times

Source:Xinhua Published: 2020/6/29 9:29:19

Data related to Italy's coronavirus outbreak remained largely positive on Sunday, even as local health officials in 11 parts of the country reported small, isolated outbreaks of the virus.

Nationally, the official tally confirmed 174 new cases of the coronavirus, and 22 new deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That compared to 175 new cases and a four-month low of just eight new deaths a day earlier. The number of patients in intensive care units (ICU) rose by one to 98 compared to Saturday.

Despite the one-day increases in new deaths and ICU patients, trends are generally positive: Italy recorded fewer than 50 COVID-19 deaths for 10 consecutive days and fewer than 100 for 30 straight days. The one-patient increase in ICU patients was just the second time in 21 days.

But according to local media, health officials said a total of more than 200 new cases have been reported since Wednesday in 11 clusters -- ranging from Bolzano in the country's far north to Agrigento on the southern island of Sicily.

The biggest of the 11 clusters are in Bologna, with 64 cases; Caserta (near Naples), with 49; and Agrigento, with 28 infected migrants who landed at a nearby port.

None of the eight remaining hotspots involved more than 15 infections and five were limited to one or two families or to single buildings.

On Sunday, Rome city hall revealed that at least one municipal employee had tested positive for the virus and municipal offices will be disinfected on Monday before employees return to work Tuesday (Monday is a holiday in Rome).

Additionally, a staff member of the national snow skiing team, workers at the home office of the Bologna-based courier service company Bartolini, and employees at two restaurants on the outskirts of Rome, all reportedly tested positive for the virus in recent days.

Still, Caserta, the residences of the Bartolini employees in Bologna, the Port of Empedocle near Agrigento, and two other new hotspots were declared "red zones" over the weekend or will be given such status as of Monday morning, meaning residents there will re-enter a kind of lockdown status.

All this comes as Italy and other European countries prepare to reopen their borders to non-European travelers for the first time in months.

Among those who will be allowed to travel to Italy and other European countries without restrictions are those from China, Canada, Japan, and Australia.

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