The number of coronavirus cases in Italy has dropped significantly for the first time since the pandemic began.
The country now has the second largest death toll running behind the United States that came in fast to the top but are managing the crisis.
The Civil Protection Agency revealed data that the number of current infections has fallen for the first time since the outbreak began – with 20 less recorded on Saturday the 18th to Sunday the 19th of April.
“For the first time, we have seen a new positive development: the number of currently positive has declined,” civil protection agency chief Angelo Borrelli told reporters.
There are currently 108,237 active cases of Covid-19 in Italy, with 108,257 reported yesterday.
Italy entered into a progressively more restrictive lockdown over the first half of March that has since been replicated by most European nations.
The Mediterranean country’s 60 million citizens have been barred from walking more than 200 metres (650 feet) from their homes without a significant reason.
While the infection numbers are cause for optimism, the daily death toll is proving stubbornly high.
Intensive care figures also show a downward trend, with occupancy now at its lowest level in a month. Italy is by no means out of the woods. But it is on the right path – and it now feels like its sacrifices are paying off.
Reports of domestic abuse have surged and scientists worry about the impact of such isolation on the elderly and the more vulnerable.
Conte’s government is now debating how it can lift the stay-at-home order and reopen businesses while there is still no coronavirus cure or vaccine.
Italy’s lockdown continues until 3 May but some businesses have reopened.
They include bookshops, stationers and shops selling children’s clothes, as officials see how social distancing measures can be safely applied.