Italy Daily Virus Fatalities Fall to 681, Lowest Since March 26

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Italy saw 681 new coronavirus fatalities on Saturday, including a police officer in Premier Giuseppe Conte’s security team, while authorities warned a return to normality in the country remains distant.

The daily toll was the lowest since March 26 and fell from 766 Friday, according to civil protection data. There were 4,805 new confirmed cases, an increase from 4585 a day earlier.

Italy this week extended an almost total nationwide lockdown to at least April 13 and while efforts to contain the virus have started bearing fruit, “it’s way too early to think the battle is won,”, according to emergency response czar Domenico Arcuri. The country’s worst hit region Lombardy is considering even tougher containment measures after recording an increase in residents venturing outside their homes in defiance of the quarantine.

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An officer in the Italian prime minister’s security team died of the virus, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said in a post on Facebook. The officer, who tested positive to the virus last month, had no contact with the premier over the previous two weeks and Conte tested negative at the time, Corriere della Sera reported on its website.

Conte is preparing a new decree to further boost liquidity for businesses, while another package due later this month will include emergency income for people who work in the underground economy. The decree, which will be approved by Monday, will include measures to free up an additional 200 billion euros ($216 billion) for firms, according to daily La Stampa.

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