After more than 10 000 coronavirus deaths there are signs that Italy's lockdown is beginning to work

Business Insider US
Italy Coronavirus
A general view of the central station during the military and police checks during the coronavirus outbreak on March 09, 2020 in Milan, Italy. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced overnight a "national emergency" due to the coronavirus outbreak and imposed quarantines on the Lombardy and Veneto regions, which contain roughly a quarter of the country's population. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
  • Italy is showing very early signs that it may be turning a corner with the coronavirus as the number of new deaths and cases lessening, according to multiple reports.
  • The country's three week-long strict lockdown is due to be lifted on Friday, reported Deutsche Welle (DW). But officials say it is likely to be extended, according to Reuters.
  • The positive figures are a sign that those under lockdown "save lives" by staying home, said government health adviser Luca Richelli on Sunday. He argued that it was a reason to be "even stricter."
  • Italy is one of the world's worst-affected countries, with one third of all reported coronavirus deaths happening there. The death toll is currently at 10 779.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The number of deaths, severe cases, and new infections of the coronavirus in Italy are all showing an optimistic trend, in very early signs that the country's strict lockdown is working.

The number of new people being taken into intensive care with the disease each day dropped from 124 on Saturday to 50 the Sunday, Italian government adviser Luca Richeldi told a Sunday press conference, according to Il Giornale.

New cases on Sunday also dropped to 5,217 from 5,974 the day before, according to Statista.

The mortality rate has also dropped, from a record 919 deaths on Friday to 756 on Sunday, Reuters reported.

Italy is one of the worst-affected countries in the world, recording 10 779 deaths to date - or one-third of the world's total tally.

The country's health system has struggled to battle the virus, with medical students fast-tracked to serve on coronavirus wards. Six patients were flown to Germany for treatment on Saturday, according to Deutsche Welle (DW).

The glimmer of improvement in Italy is, according to Richeldi, a sign that "through our behavior, we save lives," as DW reported him as telling reporters on Sunday.

Italy's strict lockdown, which begun on March 9, is officially due to be lifted on April 3, according to DW.

But the encouraging signs after three weeks of lockdown are "a reason for us to be even stricter," DW reported Richeldi as saying. "We are in a very long battle," he added.

Regional Affairs Minister Francesco Boccia also told Sky TG24 TV that the lockdown will "inevitably" be extended, according to Reuters.

"We all want to go back to normal," he said. "But we will have to do it by turning on one switch at a time."

Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa:

Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo