Italy Sees Big Jump in Confirmed Coronavirus Cases in Hardest-Hit Lombardy Region

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(ROME) — A big jump in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Italy’s hardest-hit region contributed to the country’s highest day-to-day increase in several days.

According to Health Ministry data, 1,033 cases were confirmed in Lombardy since Monday evening, accounting for the majority of Italy’s 1,402 new cases. In contrast, the last few days had seen Lombardy’s daily new caseload running in the few hundreds.

Overall, Italy counts 221,216 confirmed coronavirus infections. Experts say the true number is doubtlessly much higher, pointing out that many people with mild symptoms often don’t get tested.

Authorities registered 172 deaths in infected patients in the 24-hour period ending Tuesday evening, raising to 30,911 the confirmed death toll. Nearly half of those deaths have occurred in Lombardy, where the country’s outbreak began in late February.

Health officials are anxiously awaiting daily case numbers later in the week to determine if a partial lifting of lockdown restrictions on May 4 caused any rise in contagion rates.