Italy registers 17,750 coronavirus cases, death toll surges to 1,441

Rome [Italy], Mar 15 (ANI): The number of people who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the epidemic hit Italy reached 17,750 as of Saturday, authorities said.

The figure marked an increase of 2,795 cases over that of the previous day and did not include recoveries or fatalities, according to the latest update provided at a press conference by the Civil Protection Department. The death toll also grew by 175 cases on a daily basis to 1,441, Xinhua news agency reported.

Some 527 people were dismissed in the day, bringing the total cases to 1,966, the Department chief Angelo Borrelli was quoted as saying at a televised press conference.

Among the 17,750 people positive for COVID-19, some 1,518 were currently in intensive care (190 new cases), while 8,372 were hospitalized with symptoms and 7,860 under home confinement as they were asymptomatic or with light symptoms.

Considering all data (including deaths and recoveries), the total number of assessed coronavirus cases in Italy was 21,157, Borrelli added.

One of the latest cases was Italy's Deputy Minister of Health Pierpaolo Sileri, who issued a statement on Saturday confirming that he had tested positive.

By making his infection known, Sileri joined a growing list of high-profile Italian officials infected that includes Nicola Zingaretti, president of the region of central Lazio and head of the Democratic Party; Alberto Cirio, president of the northern region of Piedmont; Army Chief of Staff Salvatore Farina, and Deputy Minister of Education Anna Ascani.

Italy's National Health Institute (ISS) provided insights related to lethality (number of deaths out of the total number of infected people) on the base of data updated until Friday.

"The lethality of COVID-19 in Italy is currently 5.8 per cent," the ISS said in a statement on Friday.

"The average age of deceased patients positive to COVID-19 is 80 years, about 15 years higher than the average age of those infected (living)."

"Stratified by age group, lethality is not higher than that in other countries," explained Graziano Onder, director of the ISS department of cardiovascular, endocrine-metabolic, and aging diseases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that Europe has become the new 'epicentre' of the global coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 15 lakh people with over 4000 deaths. (ANI)