Italy's coronavirus death toll climbs above 50,000 mark

23 Nov 2020, 23:25

  DF News Desk

A medical worker works at a COVID-19 unit of the Sant'Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna, Italy, on Nov. 12, 2020. File Photo Xinhua.

Italy's coronavirus death toll has climbed to 50,453 as another 630 COVID-19 patients died, the Ministry of Health reported on Monday, reported Xinhua.

As well, over half a million people, or 584,493, have recovered from COVID-19 since the pandemic first emerged in Italy's northern Lombardy region earlier this year.

A total of 22,930 new cases were reported across the country on Monday, down by 5,407 compared to Sunday, bringing the total number of infections to 1,431,795.

The Ministry of Health said that there are currently 796,849 infected people in Italy, of whom 3,810 are in intensive care and 34,697 are hospitalized.

Also on Monday, Health Minister Roberto Speranza signed an ordinance suspending activities on Italy's mink farms, effective immediately until February 2021.

If any of the animals develop symptoms of coronavirus infection, local authorities can seize the premises and conduct an investigation. If the minks turn out to be infected by the coronavirus they will be killed, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

ANOTHER REGION JOINS HIGH-RISK ZONE

The central Abruzzo region became the latest of Italy's 20 regions to be designated as red, or high risk, by Speranza in a Nov. 20 ordinance.

In a bid to contain the second wave of the pandemic, the government has divided Italy into three color-coded areas -- yellow, orange, and red -- with varying restrictions according to the level of transmission of the virus.

Yellow areas are at the lowest risk and have fewer restrictions. Orange means "sustained and widespread transmission posing the national health system at risk," and red means "uncontrolled transmission" stretching the national health system beyond capacity, according to the Ministry of Health.

Currently, five of Italy's 20 regions are designated as yellow.  Another eight have been designated as orange. The red area -- where the toughest anti-COVID 19 restrictions are in place -- currently includes Calabria and Campania in the south, and Lombardy, Piedmont, Tuscany, Valle d'Aosta and the Autonomous Province of Bolzano in the north, and the latest, Abruzzo.

Anti-virus restrictions in orange areas include a 10 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew, a ban on traveling in or out of regions and municipalities, and the total shutdown of bars and restaurants.

People living in red areas can't leave the house except for provable work or health-related reasons and are banned from traveling in or out of their regions and municipalities. Bars, restaurants and all retailers except groceries, pharmacies and newsstands must shut down.

The color-coded designations and the restrictions that go with them are in place until Dec. 3, according to the Ministry of Health.