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    COVID-19 deaths in Italy close to 14,000

    0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 3, 2020
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    People wearing face masks shop for food at a market in Rome, Italy, on April 2, 2020. (Photo by Elisa Lingria/Xinhua)

    The coronavirus pandemic has claimed close to 14,000 lives in locked-down Italy, bringing the total number of infections, fatalities and recoveries to 115,242 by Thursday, according to the latest data released by the country's Civil Protection Department.

    Speaking during a televised press conference, Civil Protection Department Chief Angelo Borrelli confirmed that there were 2,477 new active coronavirus infections compared to Wednesday, bringing the nationwide total to 83,049 cases.

    Of those infected, 28,540 are hospitalized, 4,053 are in intensive care and the rest are quarantined at home, Borrelli said, adding that there were 1,431 additional recoveries compared to Wednesday, raising the tally to 18,278.

    Thursday saw 760 new fatalities, bringing the toll to 13,915 since the pandemic first broke out in northern Italy on Feb. 21.

    Among the casualties were many medical professionals. The National Federation of Medical, Surgical and Orthodontists Boards (FNOMCeO) which is keeping a running tally of doctors who died fighting the virus, said a total of 69 doctors have passed away.

    In a statement, health care union ANAAO-ASSOMED said over 10,000 health care workers have been infected with the coronavirus, 20 percent being doctors.

    Borrelli went on to thank Italian citizens for their donations to the Civil Protection Department for the coronavirus emergency, which he said have topped 100 million euros (108 million U.S. dollars).

    The pandemic has dealt a huge blow to the Italian economy.

    The General Confederation of Italian Industry (Confindustria) said on Thursday that industrial production "in the first quarter of 2020 is expected to contract by 5.4 percent, the largest drop in the past 11 years."

    Confindustria analysts said that "the impact of COVID-19 and the measures to contain the infection have been devastating in March, when (industrial) activities decreased by 16.6 percent compared to February, rolling the production index back to the levels of 42 years ago."

    Confindustria said this was due to the "closure of about 60 percent of (Italy's) manufacturing industries" in order to contain the pandemic.

    In a separate statement on Thursday, Confindustria noted that if "the acute phase of the health emergency ends in May 2020 and production resumes gradually between the end of April and the end of June, (we) estimate that gross domestic product (GDP) in Italy will fall by 10 percent in the first two quarters compared to the end of 2019 On average for 2020, GDP will drop 6 percent."

    However, if the emergency continues beyond May, "our forecast will have to be revised downwards," Confindustria analysts wrote, adding that national GDP will likely drop by "a further 0.75 percent" for every additional week that production is at a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Confindustria members include 150,000 small, medium and large sized manufacturing and service companies, employing over 5.4 million people.

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