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Italy's virus death toll rises by 756


Doctors wear protective clothing as they carry out checks on citizens in Naples, Italy. IPA Milestone

Italy's coronavirus figures have pointed to a decreasing number of new infections, even as health officials raise the death toll by 756 to 10,779, the highest of any country.

Italy's Civil Protection Agency noted on Sunday the rate of new infections had begun to slow, with a 5217 people having caught the virus on Sunday - a smaller increase than Saturday's 5994 new recorded cases.

Sunday's figures also marked a significant drop in new infections compared wth the previous week, when upwards of 10,000 new coronavirus cases were being reported daily.

With 97,689 infections, Italy is battling one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks worldwide.

The entire country has been under lockdown since March 10, with even more draconian measures put in place on March 20.

Current restrictions are set to expire on April 3 but even if the situation improves, few people expect them to be lifted soon.

Sunday's figures showed an additional 646 people had recovered from the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing Italy's total to 13,030.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza warned against relaxing efforts in the fight against the virus.

"We are still in the midst of the epidemic," he said on Sunday according to the ANSA news agency.

"It would be a big mistake to become more careless now. It would destroy everything we have achieved so far."

© DPA 2020

Tags: coronavirus