Italy Reports Highest New Virus Infections in Four Days
A medical worker attends to a patient, who has tested positive for Covid-19, in the intensive care unit of the hospital in Cremona, Italy. (Photographer: Francesca Volpi/Bloomberg)

Italy Reports Highest New Virus Infections in Four Days

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(Bloomberg) --

Italy reported its highest new coronavirus cases in four days on Thursday, as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte consults emergency task-forces to map a restart for businesses trapped in a nationwide lockdown.

There were 3,786 new cases of the disease, compared with 2,667 a day earlier, the highest since April 12, civil protection officials said at their daily briefing in Rome. Confirmed cases in the country now total 168,941.

Italy registered 525 deaths linked to the virus, compared with 578 the day before. That brings the total number of fatalities to 22,170. Hospitalized patients and intensive care patients both declined. Tests rose to a record high at 60,999.

Conte is working with teams including a panel headed by Vittorio Colao, former chief executive officer of Vodafone Group Plc, as well as a committee of medical and scientific experts as he seeks guidelines for allowing some firms to reopen, with containment measures due to last until at least May 3.

Some companies in the automobile, fashion, design and metalworking sectors may however be allowed to reopen as early as next week, according to officials who asked not to be named discussing confidential plans. The containment measures ban movement within the country, shutter virtually all non-essential businesses, and allow people to leave home to purchase food and for work, health or emergency reasons.

The government’s medical advisers have repeatedly urged caution, saying the risk of triggering a second wave of infections by easing measures remains high. Any reopening would depend on the spread of the disease, and on businesses guaranteeing health and safety measures for employees including social-distancing.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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