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Italy Reports 969 Coronavirus Deaths in One-day Record
By Staff, Agencies
Italy recorded a shocking spike in coronavirus deaths Friday with 969 new victims, the worst daily record for any country since the pandemic began.
The infection rate, meanwhile, continued its downward trend, with the civil protection agency reporting nearly 86,500 confirmed cases in Italy -- a 7.4% increase, down from around 8.0% in previous days.
Experts said that Italy's coronavirus epidemic could peak in the next few days but regional authorities warned the crisis was far from over.
The national health institute [ISS] cautiously suggested lockdown measures to curb the spread of the disease -- which has claimed over 8,100 lives and infected some 80,000 people -- may soon bear fruit.
"I want to be clear on one point. We have not peaked yet," the institute's head Silvio Brusaferro said.
"There are signs of a slowdown, which makes us believe that we are close, we could peak in the next few days."
But virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco warned that would not translate into a go-ahead to ease lockdown measures.
The slight slowing in case numbers "should strengthen our desire to continue. We must not drop our guard."
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