Rome, 1 October 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Italian authorities reported more than 2,500 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the highest daily figure in more than five months.
A total of 2,548 people tested positive for the virus, compared to 1,851 on Wednesday. It was a number not seen since the second half of April, Health Ministry data showed.
“Things are starting to look worse. Please be careful, keep a distance, wear masks, avoid indoor crowded spaces, wash your hands,” Roberto Burioni, a leading virologist, commented on Twitter.
Veneto in the north and Campania in the south were the regions that reported the most new infections – 445 and 390 respectively, followed by 324 in Lombardy.
In recent weeks, Italy had won plaudits for keeping infection rates at a significantly lower level compared to many other European countries.
But the government and health officials called for continued vigilance against the risk of a new spike in cases, amid concerns that September school reopenings could contribute to this.
“We cannot afford to waste the results achieved so far and to squander the efforts made so far,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Wednesday while visiting the Foreign Press Association in Rome.
The latest update brought Italy’s overall number of coronavirus infections to 317,409, while the aggregated death toll rose by 24, to 35,918.