ROME, July 18 (Reuters) – Italy reported just three coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday compared to 13 the day before, the lowest toll since last August, however, the daily tally of new infections fell from 3,121 to 3,127.
Sundays normally see a drop in cases as only limited testing is done on weekends, so although the increase in infections was minimal, it still represented a sixth consecutive daily increase, underscoring concerns of a new wave of contagion.
Health experts believe the outbreak was fueled by celebrations at the recent European football championships, which Italy won and which sparked street parties and a complete breakdown in social distancing in many cities and towns and cities. villages.
The director of the Italian health institute, Franco Locatelli, said the average age of those infected was 28. “The gatherings and crowds have contributed to the spread of the virus,” he told La Republica newspaper on Sunday.
Hospitalized patients with COVID-19, not counting those in intensive care, stood at 1,136 on Sunday, up from 1,111 a day earlier, the health ministry said.
There were three new intensive care unit admissions from nine on Saturday, while the total number of intensive care patients fell to 156 from 162 previously.
The government is expected to announce limited restrictions next week for people who have not been fully vaccinated, including banning them from being served in indoor restaurants or entering nightclubs, gyms and sports stadiums.
As of Sunday afternoon, 49.9% of all Italians over the age of 12 had been fully immunized.
Italy has recorded 127,867 COVID-19-related deaths since the outbreak of its outbreak in February last year, the second-highest death toll in Europe after Britain and the eighth in the world. The country has reported 4.29 million cases to date.
Some 165,269 COVID-19 tests were performed in the past day, up from 244,797 previously, the health ministry said.
Editing Crispian Balmer and Daniel Wallis
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