Italy registered 5,724 new cases of infection with the new coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the worst number seen since March 28, said the Ministry of Health.
Since Friday, 29 more people have died, bringing the total number of deaths to 36,610 since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic in the country in February.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health states that, in total, 349,494 cases of infection with the new coronavirus have been reported in the country since February.
The number of new cases reported since Friday is the highest since March 28, when 5,974 infections were registered.
In the last 24 hours, 133,048 tests were carried out, a new record.
Of the 5,724 new infections, 1,140 were reported in the Lombardy region, the most affected by the pandemic. In Campania (in the south of the country) there were 664 new infections and in Veneto 561.
Speaking to the media, the director of Italian civil protection, Angelo Borrelli, admitted that the transmission curve is increasing, although the situation is different from March and April, as there are fewer patients hospitalized in intensive care units.
“An increase in contagion was expected, but the situation is different from that of March and April. Today we have a significant number of infected people, but fewer people hospitalized in intensive care, ”he said.
However, he added, given the increasing number of infections, it is essential that citizens are responsible and aware of the importance of preventive measures.
In the coming hours, the Italian technical committee will meet with the Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, to study the increase in infections in the last week and the ability to track new cases.
Roberto Speranza has already acknowledged the new outbreak of covid-19 cases and stressed that the pandemic has shown that investment in health care is essential.
“We are not yet out of the most difficult phase. We must vigorously pursue all preventive measures to keep our numbers even lower than in other European countries, “he said, also calling on political parties to sign” a major national pact “to improve the national health system.
The Italian Minister of Health also defended that it is necessary to “raise the level of care” and “greater coordination with the regions”, although “people’s behavior remains crucial”.
The Italian Government has already extended the state of emergency in the country until January 31, 2021.
The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than one million and sixty-nine thousand deaths and close to 37 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.
In Portugal, 2,067 people died from 85,574 confirmed cases of infection, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, a city in central China.