MILAN, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Italy reported 475 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday compared with 477 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections rose to 16,310 from 16,146.
Italy has registered 81,800 COVID-19 deaths since the virus came to light last February – the second-highest toll in Europe and the sixth-highest in the world. It has also reported 2.369 million cases to date, the ministry said.
A total of 260,704 tests were carried out during the past day, down from the previous day’s 273,506 tests. Those numbers include the so-called “rapid tests”, which are less accurate but give much faster results.
Health Ministry warnings that the epidemic was getting worse prompted the government on Friday to issue a new decree extending curbs aimed at keeping a lid on infections.
Restrictions have been tightened to the maximum “red-zone” level in three of Italy’s 20 regions, including northern Lombardy around Milan, the country’s wealthiest and most populous area. (Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Louise Heavens and Helen Popper)