International News

Italy coronavirus cases drop under 100,000

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A man wearing a face mask to protect against coronavirus travels in metro during a gradual lifting of a lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19, in Brussels, Monday, May 4, 2020. Belgium is relaxing some of its lockdown measures Monday. Business-to-business companies can open their offices to employees again and those taking public transport must wear a mask. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

MILAN — The number of people currently positive for coronavirus has dropped under 100,000 in Italy — Europe’s hardest-hit country.

As the country began a gradually reopening from a two-month-long lockdown on Monday, the number of deaths rose by 195 to 29,079.

Italy also registered the lowest number of new positives since the day the lockdown took effect, at 1,221, bringing the total of coronavirus cases to 211,938 since the first case of domestic transmission of the virus was detected on Feb. 21.

Pressure on Italian hospitals continued to ease, with 419 fewer people hospitalized and 22 fewer in intensive care units. Three regions — Umbria, Basilicata and Molise — registered no new cases, while most were well under 100.

Lombardy, the densely populated northern region that has borne the brunt of the virus, was responsible for nearly half of all new cases in the past 24 hours.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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