Coffins of people who have died from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are seen in a crematorium in the town of Serravalle Scrivia, which like many places in northern Italy is struggling to cope with the number of deaths from the virus that is growing every day, in Alessandria, Italy, March 23, 2020. There were just over 600 registered on Monday compared to 651 on Sunday.
Italy is enduring the worst of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, and its number of deaths has already greatly surpassed the toll the virus reached in China.
"These are crucial days".
The country's death toll now stands at 6,078, health officials said late on Monday. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms.
A 95 year old Italian woman has provided us all with some much needed positivity and hope at a time that is uncertain and worrying for us all.
A senior national health official, Silvio Brusaferro, resisted being too optimistic, saying the improvements were due to actions taken at the beginning of the month, not in recent days. For some it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems.
"We need more consecutive results to confirm the trend, to be more certain that we are in a favorable situation.", Brusaferro said. Over 100,000 people have recovered, including almost 60,000 in China and more than 7,000 in Italy.
Borelli, who also serves as extraordinary commissioner in this emergency, explained that 68 people - 28 of them COVID-19 patients - have so far been moved from Lombardy to other hospitals across the country in order to provide some relief to the most affected region. In the Lombardy region, where the outbreak began, there are even more stringent restrictions. But they expressed renewed worry about the need for additional intensive care beds.
The number of cases has also increased by 4,789 in the last 24 hours.
On Monday, Malta registered 17 new cases, bringing the total up to 107.