British variant registered in one in every five of new Covid-19 cases in Italy

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CDE / ANSA / Reuters –  One in every five of the new cases registered in Italy are of the new, more contagious British variant of COVID-19. The information was released by the Italian health ministry and the Higher Health Institute (ISS) on the basis of a survey by the regional governments.

The survey is based on the results of tests done on February 3 and 4.

On Thursday,  Italy reported 391 coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday against 336 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections rose to 15,146 from 12,956 the day before.

Some 292,533 tests for COVID-19 were carried out in the past day, compared with a previous 310,994, the health ministry said.

Italy has registered 92,729 deaths linked to COVID-19 since its outbreak emerged in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the sixth-highest in the world. The country has reported 2.68 million cases to date.

Patients in hospital with COVID-19 – not including those in intensive care – stood at 18,942 on Thursday, down from 19,280 a day earlier.

There were 151 new admissions to intensive care units, down from 155 on Wednesday. The total number of intensive care patients fell to 2,126 from a previous 2,128.

When Italy’s second wave of the epidemic was accelerating quickly in the first half of November, hospital admissions were rising by about 1,000 per day, while intensive care occupancy was increasing by about 100 per day.

ANSA/REUTERS

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