From: Wagner, Jonathan
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2020 11:06:13 AM (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)
To: Wagner, Jonathan
Subject: *ITALY REPORTS 2,667 NEW VIRUS INFECTIONS, LOWEST IN 4 1/2 WEEKS
(Bloomberg) — Italy reported its fewest new coronavirus cases in four and a half weeks on Wednesday, as a nationwide lockdown begins to check the spread of the disease while also weakening the economy.
There were 2,667 new cases of the disease, compared with 2,972 a day earlier, the lowest since March 13, civil protection officials said at their daily briefing in Rome. Confirmed cases in the country now total 165,155.
Italy registered 578 deaths linked to the virus, compared with 602 the day before. That brings the total number of fatalities to 21,645. Hospitalized patients fell the most since the epidemic started and intensive care patients fell for a consecutive 12 days.
The government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is considering plans to ease containment measures in Italy, the original epicenter of the virus’s outbreak, that are due to last until at least May 3. The rules ban movement within the country, shutter virtually all non-essential businesses, and allow people to leave home only for work, health or emergency reasons.
The country’s industrial production fell about 15% in March, according to estimates by the Bank of Italy released by Paolo Angelini, the institution’s head of supervision, during a parliamentary hearing earlier Wednesday. Companies may need up to 50 billion euros ($54 billion) in additional liquidity between March and July.
Conte, whose government approved an initial 25 billion-euro stimulus package last month, is working on new measures worth at least the same amount for later this month, which will include an emergency income for people trapped in the underground economy.
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