Covid-19: Italy records highest daily rise in new cases since lockdown ended

Italy sees a steady increase in new coronavirus infections.

Italy recorded 845 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on 20 August, representing the highest daily increase since May when the country was still in lockdown.

Thursday's daily caseload of new covid-19 cases was the biggest since the 875 recorded on 16 May, two days before Italy reopened its bars and restaurants after a 10-week lockdown, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

The upsurge in cases on 20 August came the day after Italy registered 642 new cases on 19 August, with the number of swabs taken also up: 77,000, about 6,000 more than the day before.

However despite the rise in cases, the daily death toll in Italy remains low, with six fatalities registered on 20 August compared to seven the day before, according to data from the health ministry.

Italy's new coronavirus cases are concentrated mainly in the northern regions of Veneto (+159) and Lombardy (+154).

Numbers in the central Lazio region, which includes Rome, continue to rise, with 115 new cases recorded yesterday, reports ANSA.

Lazio regional authorities blame this increase in large part on people arriving in Rome - tourists and Italians - from abroad or from other Italian regions, notably Sardinia.

In recent days Italy has taken measures to halt the rise in cases - linked mainly to holidays and nightlife - by closing night clubs and obliging people arriving into Rome's airports from 'at risk' countries to undergo covid-19 testing.

Italy's rising number of new coronavirus infections is, however, significantly lower than other large European countries, with Spain and France both close to 4,000 new cases a day, reports Reuters.

Photo credit: Sara Sette / Shutterstock.com.