Daily cases of coronavirus in Italy exceed 1,000 for the first time since May; holidaymakers contributing to the outbreak

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Italy reported more than 1,000 daily coronavirus infections on Saturday for the first time since a tight nationwide lockdown was eased in May as citizens return from summer vacation.

Once the epicenter of the European COVID-19 pandemic, Italy has largely curbed the spread of the disease since early May.

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However, the country’s health ministry said nightlife and vacationers returning from overseas Mediterranean sea resorts and the Italian island of Sardinia have contributed to a steady rise in confirmed cases over the course of the year. last month.

Confirmed cases rose from 947 on Friday to 1,071 on Saturday, just weeks after the country saw the number of new day-to-day infections plunge to around 200.

Passengers on a flight from Valencia, Spain wait to be tested for COVID-19 after disembarking at Rome Ciampino Airport on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Italy’s Minister of Health has issued an order requiring testing for all travelers arriving in Italy from Croatia, Greece, Malta or Spain. (AP Photo / Riccardo De Luca)

Many infections have been confirmed in travelers who were tested upon disembarking planes or ferries.

Authorities in Lazio, in the south-central region, including Rome, say 45% of its 215 new cases on Saturday came from people returning from Sardinia, where several groups have been linked to nightclubs or private parties in the area. chic seaside resort on the Emerald Coast.

Migrants accounted for 16 of 48 confirmed infections in Sicily.

The last time Italy recorded more than 1,000 cases was on May 12, when 1,402 cases were reported, according to Reuters. Six days later, the country lifted some restrictions on its 10-week lockdown and allowed restaurants, bars and shops to reopen.

The daily death toll has remained low, with deaths often reported in single digits even as infections rise, the outlet reported.

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Three new deaths on Saturday brought the total number of deaths to at least 35,400. The country has more than 259,000 confirmed cases.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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