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Italy records over 150,000 COVID-19 recoveries, death toll at 33,142
BY 2020-05-29 16:45:12

ROME, May 28 (Xinhua) -- The novel coronavirus infection trend continued downward in Italy as the number of recoveries jumped by 3,503 on Thursday, bringing the total to 150,604, the Civil Protection Department said.

Meanwhile, another 70 people died, bringing the death toll from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, to 33,142 on Thursday.

The total active infections stood at 47,986, down by 2,980 from Wednesday, according to the department.

The Lombardy region, where the pandemic officially first broke out in late February, still had the lion's share of cases with 22,913 active infections.

At the other end of the spectrum was the northern Valle d'Aosta region in the Alps with 23 cases.

Of those who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, 489 are in intensive care, down by 16 compared to Wednesday, and 7,379 are hospitalized with symptoms, down by 350.

The rest -- 40,118 people, or 84 percent of those who tested positive -- are isolated at home because they are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms.

The overall number of coronavirus infections, fatalities and recoveries has risen by 593 to 231,732 over the past 24 hours.

As the pandemic visibly slowed down in recent weeks, Italy further eased the lockdown on May 18. Shops, restaurants, bars, barbershops, beauty salons, museums, and beachfront operators were all allowed to reopen, provided that they respect rules for social distancing and disinfect facilities.


In a hearing before the Senate Labor and Welfare Commission on Thursday, ISTAT Statistics Production Department Director Roberto Monducci said that an estimated 385,000 jobs were lost in April (on an annual basis) due to the anti-coronavirus lockdown.

Monducci said the most jobs were lost in hotels, restaurants, retail, and in the so-called personal services sector, which ranges from caring for the elderly to hairdressers.

He added that in the first quarter of 2020 Italy's gross domestic product (GDP) "underwent a contraction of exceptional dimensions" due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the efforts to contain it, falling by 4.7 percent compared to the last quarter of 2019 and by 4.8 percent compared to the first quarter last year.

Also on Thursday, ISTAT released new data showing that consumer and business confidence indexes had both plunged to what it said were "historic lows" of 94.3 and 51.1 in May.

"The ongoing health emergency continues to impact negatively on the climate of confidence," ISTAT analysts wrote. "For consumers, the index reaches its lowest value since December 2013; for businesses, it has touched the minimum value, which was recorded ... in March 2005."

On the trade front, ISTAT on Thursday released preliminary data showing that exports to countries outside the European Union (EU) contracted by 37.6 percent and imports fell by 12.7 percent in April compared to March.

"In April, worsening international demand and the measures to contain the COVID-19 (pandemic) adopted by Italy and by the main partner countries have brought about an exceptional contraction of exports towards non-EU countries," ISTAT analysts wrote.

On a yearly basis, April exports plunged by 44.2 percent, a quantity described by ISTAT analysts as "the biggest drop since the birth of the European single market in 1993."

Imports were down by 32.7 percent in April compared to the same period in 2019, ISTAT said.

Also on Thursday, INPS national pensions and welfare institute said that as of Wednesday, over 100,000 citizens and over 44,000 domestic workers had requested the government's emergency income benefit to tide them over during the emergency.

(Editor:Grace) (From:xinhua)
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