Italy reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases in a week, a day after the government moved to extend the country’s lockdown with only slight concessions to businesses demanding a restart of the economy.
There were 4,694 new cases of the disease, compared with 3,951 a day earlier, civil protection officials said. The rise comes as testing continues to surge, with a record number of tests conducted at the end of the week and about 110,000 performed in recent days, health officials said. Confirmed cases in the country now total 152,271.
Italy registered 619 deaths linked to the virus in the last 24 hours, compared with 570 the day before. That brings the total number of fatalities to 19,468.
In a combative Friday evening news conference, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced he was extending Italy’s nationwide lockdown until May 3, rejecting pressure from businesses and opposition politicians who’ve clamored to restart the economy.
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