Rome, Apr 25 (efe-epa).- Italy’s trend of declining deaths from the Covid-19 coronavirus continued Saturday with 415 new fatalities in the previous 24 hours, the smallest daily toll since March 17.
The number of new infections, meanwhile, grew by 2,357, the fewest since April 21 and a reduction of 680 from the day before. Another 2,622 people recovered from the illness.
More than 195,000 Italian residents have tested positive for Covid-19 and the number of active cases stands at 105,847, while the ranks of people hospitalized for the virus continue to thin out with each passing day.
The pandemic has claimed 26,384 lives in Italy and 63,120 infected people have recovered, according to official figures.
Italy, which just weeks ago was the global center of the outbreak, is now second internationally in deaths and third in the number of cases.
The United States leads all countries with 53,471 fatalities and more than 948,000 confirmed cases, nearly four times as many as Spain.
Italy’s government is preparing to begin a gradual re-activation of the economy on May 4. In parallel with the easing of restrictions on movement and activity, authorities plan to test a sample population of 150,000 to get an idea of how many people have developed antibodies to Covid-19.
Domenico Arcuri, the special commissioner for the coronavirus crisis, said Saturday that test subjects would be drawn from throughout the country.
The government selected a company to administer the tests from among several that bid for the contract, but has not publicly named the firm.
The tests will be free to the public.
Officials have also reached an agreement with another company – likewise unnamed – to build 51 machines with the capacity to produce as many as 800,000 protective masks per day, Arcuri said.
The ultimate goal is the turn out “at least 25 million masks daily,” he said.
Following Spain’s example, Italy will soon establish a maximum price for masks to prevent gouging and thwart attempts by speculators to cash-in on high demand for personal protective equipment. EFE