Italy reports 26,323 new coronavirus cases, 686 deaths


FILE PHOTO: A member of the medical personnel wearing protective clothing takes a swab from a man in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing centre at San Severo fuori le mura church, in Naples, Italy November 18, 2020. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy reported 686 COVID-19-related deaths on Saturday, against 827 the day before, and 26,323 new infections, down from 28,352 on Friday, the health ministry said.

There were 225,940 swabs carried out in the past day, compared with a previous 222,803.

Italy was the first Western country to be hit by the virus and has seen 54,363 COVID-19 fatalities since its outbreak emerged in February, the second highest toll in Europe after Britain. It has also registered 1.564 million cases.

While Italy's daily death tolls have been amongst the highest in Europe over recent days, the rise in hospital admissions and intensive care occupancy has slowed, suggesting the latest wave of infections was receding.

The health ministry said on Friday it would ease anti-COVID-19 restrictions in five regions as of Nov. 29, including in the country's richest and most populous region, Lombardy.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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