Italy’s overall death toll from the Chinese coronavirus exceeded 17,000 on Tuesday, as another 604 people have died from the disease in the last 24 hours. Italian health officials, however, believe the nation has reached its “peak,” as confirmed cases of the coronavirus are beginning to drop.
Newly released data from Italy’s Civil Protection revealed that the country’s death toll from the virus rose from 16,623 on Monday to 17,127 on Tuesday. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases has also risen from 132,547 to 135,586.
Confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus, however, have been dropping for the last seven days, even as Italy has been increasing testing for the disease. Italian health officials report that hospitals are “starting to breathe” due to fewer admissions to the emergency rooms.
“The data of the next few days will tell us if the descent has started, but containment measures cannot be abandoned,” said Giovanni Rezza of Italy’s Higher Institute of Health at the Civil Protection press conference on Tuesday, according to a report by La Repubblica.
“At last, it seems that we are starting to see a decrease in new cases,” he added. “In the epidemic curve, after a plateau phase, there seems to be a descent, the curve tends to bend downwards.”
“But let’s wait tomorrow or the day after tomorrow before breathing a sigh of relief,” said Rezza.
The report added that today is the lowest increase of infections recorded since March 10.
“We hope to witness a decline, but we must always keep in mind that the virus will remain in the population, even if we reach zero in a week or a month it will not be a free den for everyone,” continued Rezza.
“We must strictly maintain all measures of social distancing, because any relaxation can mean a resumption of circulation,” he added.