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Italy yet to reach coronavirus contagion peak, national health chief warns, as 712 die in one day

Italy has yet to see the worst of the coronavirus pandemic spreading through the country, a senior health official has warned, a day after more than 700 people died in a single 24-hour period.

“We haven’t reached the peak and we haven’t passed it,” the head of the Superior Health Institute, Silvio Brusaferro, told a press conference on Friday. He noted, however, that there were “signs of a slowdown” in the number of infections, suggesting that the health crisis could turn a corner soon.

Figures released on Thursday showed 712 new Covid-19 deaths, bringing the nationwide total to 8,215.

Brusaferro said that Italy’s ability to recover from the pandemic will depend on whether Italians continue to obey lockdown measures.

Italy currently has the highest number of infections in Europe, and is third worldwide after the United States and China, according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University. Cases worldwide have surpassed 500,000, with more than 24,000 deaths.

Header: Carabinieri military police officer stands guard as military trucks wait to take away coffins in Seriate, Italy, March 25, 2020. © REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo