Published: 21st August 2020
With 840 new cases a day, Italy's COVID-19 cases at the highest level since May
Thursday's figure, which took the overall caseload to 256,118, also represented the 11th time in 14 days that Italy registered more than 400 cases in a single day
Italy reported 840 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, the highest single-day surge since May 16. Thursday's figure, which took the overall caseload to 256,118, also represented the 11th time in 14 days that Italy registered more than 400 cases in a single day, reports Xinhua news agency. Before that, Italy hadn't registered 400 cases in a day in more than two months.
The country's infection rate is still well below its peak period of more than 4,000 new cases a day in 23 of 25 days in late March and early April, and the new figure is dwarfed by the rates in the hardest-hit countries that include the US, Brazil, and India, all of which saw more than 40,000 daily infections this week.
On Thursday, Italian Health Ministry consultant Walter Ricciardi said that if infection rates do not drop in the coming days, regional elections scheduled for September 20-21 could be pushed back, and that plans to reopen schools in early September could be at risk. The Technical and Scientific Committee appointed to oversee the reopening of schools also acknowledged that recent trends were "a concern".
Meanwhile, Cagliari, the capital of the Italian island region of Sardinia, has emerged as Italy's newest hotspot, with the highest per-capita infection rate in the country. Lazio, the region that includes Rome, reported that more than a third of the region's positive cases. Despite this, most indicators of the virus remain largely under control. Thursday's national death toll from COVID-19 was just 6, and one-day death totals have been in single-digit all but two days so far this month. The overall toll stands at 35,418.