Italy records fewest new covid-19 cases since February

New coronavirus infections and fatalities continue to fall steadily in Italy.

Italy registered 178 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours on 1 June, the lowest daily rise since 26 February, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

This figure comes after 355 new cases were registered the day before, 31 May, with 416 new cases on 30 May and 516 new cases on 29 May.

Italy recorded 60 coronavirus-related fatalities on 1 June - against 75 the day before - according to figures released by the nation's civil protection agency.

Six regions registered zero new infections on 1 June: Marche, Sicily, Umbria, Molise, Calabria and Basilicata - reports ANSA - while there were no fatalities recorded in nine regions on 1 June: Veneto, Marche, Sicily, Trentino Alto Adige, Umbria, Valle d'Aosta, Calabria, Molise and Basilicata.

The number of people in intensive care in Italy, currently 424, also continues to fall.

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The encouraging new figures come as Italy prepares to reopen its internal regional boundaries as well as opening its international borders to visitors from European Union nations and the Schengen area on 3 June.

On the night before Italy's national day, Festa della Repubblica on 2 June, the country's president Sergio Mattarella said that Italy has "shown its best face" during the covid-19 emergency, stating "I am proud of my country."

Today 2 June, after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Rome's Altare della Patria at 09.00, Mattarella will fly to Codogno, in the northern Lodi province of Lombardy, where Italy's first coronavirus patient was diagnosed on 20 February.

Describing Codogno as "a symbolic place of the beginning of this dramatic period," Mattarella said he would "pay homage to all the victims and attest to the courage of all Italians, who have faced the front line, often in extreme conditions, with courage and self-sacrifice, in the fight against the coronavirus."

The total number of confirmed cases in Italy (counting those currently positive, the deceased and those who have recovered) is now 233,197, the sixth highest global tally behind the US, Russia, Brazil, Spain and Britain.

The total number of fatalities in Italy stands at 33,475, reports ANSA. For full statistics relating to the covid-19 pandemic in Italy see the Protezione Civile website.

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