Italy on Thursday reported 17,221 new coronavirus cases, bringing the number of active infections to 544,330, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Health, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
Also on Thursday, the Ministry of Health reported that another 487 COVID-19 patients have died from the virus, taking the country’s total COVID-19 related fatalities to 112,861.
Among the total infections, 511,816 people are isolated at home with light or no symptoms, 28,851 are hospitalized with symptoms and another 3,663 are hospitalized in intensive care.
A majority of currently infected people, or 91,011, are in the southern Campania region whose capital is Naples. The second highest number of active infections, 81,995, comes from the northern Lombardy region whose capital is Milan, where the first domestic cases of coronavirus were identified in early 2020.
In its weekly monitoring report on COVID-19, the Ministry of Health said, “the extremely high incidence…its slow decrease and the heavy overload on hospital services do not allow a reduction of the current restriction measures.”
“Furthermore, especially in light of the predominance of viral variants with higher transmissibility, the need to maintain a radical reduction of physical interactions between people and of mobility is confirmed,” said the report, referring to the week of March 22-28.
“We stand at 233 cases per 100,000 inhabitants,” said Gianni Rezza, Director General of Prevention at the Ministry of Health. “The rate of intensive care unit occupancy is 41 percent, well above the critical threshold of 30 percent.”
Also on Thursday, Italy’s Extraordinary Commissioner for the COVID-19 Emergency Francesco Paolo Figliuolo and Civil Protection Department chief Fabrizio Curcio attended the inauguration of a new vaccination hub in the central Marche region.
“Our plan has not changed, by the end of the month we must reach our target of 500,000 inoculations a day,” Italian news agency ANSA cited Figliuolo as saying.
“Starting today, inoculation with the AstraZeneca vaccine is available for people aged 60-79, and people under 60 who have received the first shot (of AstraZeneca) will receive the second dose as well,” Figliuolo added.
“Thirty million doses of AstraZeneca will arrive between this quarter and the next,” the commissioner said. “They will be destined for the 60-79 age group, which numbers about 13,275,000 people.”
He added that of the people in the 60-79 age group, 2,270,000 have already received their first dose.
Italy has so far vaccinated close to 12 million of its 60 million inhabitants, according to the Ministry of Health data published Thursday.