Italy on Wednesday reported a drop in the total number of CCP virus deaths over the past 24 hours, but it still remained relatively high at 683.
More than 7,500 people have died from the virus in the country since the outbreak started.
Italy’s Department of Civil Protection issued the update, confirming 5,210 new cases, slightly fewer than the more than 5,400 confirmed on Tuesday, reported The Local.
“We are experiencing a phase of apparent stabilization and we believe that the number of infected people is consistent with the trend that the spread has had in the country,” said Civil Protection director Agostino Miozzo, reported ANSA.
He said that if the trend is to continue downward, “rigorous measures of containment and social distancing” is necessary, he added.
“It’s a delicate moment. You cannot let your guard down, otherwise, it could go up again,” Miozzo said, according to a translation.
On Tuesday, Italy reported 743 deaths. Monday and Sunday experienced lower daily deaths, officials said.
Angelo Borrelli, the head of the Civil Protection agency who normally gives updates on the virus, apparently has developed a fever and flu-like symptoms, according to ANSA. He recently tested negative for the CCP virus but was asked to take a new test.
“The measures we took two weeks ago are starting to have an effect,” Borrelli said on Tuesday, The Local reported. Data over the next several days will allow researchers to see “if the growth curve is really flattening,” he remarked, adding that the actual number of infected people is probably about 10 times higher than the official count.
As Italy is testing only people with severe symptoms, the head of the Civil Protection Agency said the true number of infected people was probably 10 times higher.
The latest data comes as a disappointment to a country that has been in lockdown for two weeks, with schools, bars, and restaurants shut and Italians forbidden from leaving their homes for all but essential needs.
On Monday the government closed all businesses not deemed to be essential to the nation’s supply chain of vital requirements, and after the latest figures Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stiffened fines for people leaving their homes to up to 3,000 euros ($3,225) from a previous maximum of 206 euros.
Reuters contributed to this report.