Pedestrians wearing face masks are seen on the street in Milan, Italy, March 2, 2020. A total of 1,835 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus so far in Italy, up by 258 cases compared to an official tally released on Sunday evening, the Civil Protection Department said Monday. (Photo by Daniele Mascolo/Xinhua)
ROME, March 2 (Xinhua) -- A total of 1,835 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus so far in Italy, up by 258 cases compared to an official tally released on Sunday evening, the Civil Protection Department said Monday.
In addition, there have been 52 deaths, up from 34 fatalities till Sunday, while another 149 patients have recovered, said Civil Protection Department Chief Angelo Borrelli, who also serves as Extraordinary Commissioner for the Coronavirus Emergency.
"We have an increase in people who are deceased, with 18 deaths, of whom 15 in Lombardy and three in Emilia-Romagna, so the total of those deceased has reached 52," Borrelli told a televised press conference, referring to the two northern regions with the most cases at the moment.
"What is comforting about the 258 new cases is that 50 percent are asymptomatic and are under house quarantine, 40 percent are hospitalized with symptoms, and 10 percent are hospitalized in intensive care," Borrelli continued.
Also on Monday, the Ministry of Health published a breakdown of cases by region, showing that the highest number occurred in Lombardy (1,254), where the first Italian cases emerged on Feb. 21 and where 10 towns have been placed under lockdown in a so-called "red zone" in an effort to stop the virus from spreading.
Next was Emilia-Romagna with 335 cases, followed by Veneto -- where another town is under lockdown -- at 273 cases.
There are 742 patients hospitalized with symptoms, 166 are in intensive care, while another 927 under house quarantine,the Ministry of Health said in a statement.
The seven cases in Lazio include five new cases that emerged in and around the capital overnight, Lazio public health authorities and the Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute of Infectious Disease (INMI) announced Monday.
The INMI also said that a firefighter cadet at a firefighting academy in Rome has tested positive for the coronavirus and is under medical surveillance in his barracks.
It is not clear whether the firefighter is also included in the national tally.
Dr. Giovanni Rezza, who directs the infectious diseases department at the Superior Institute of Health (ISS), said in response to a question from reporters at Monday's press conference that the Rome cases "appear to be linked to the epicenter of the epidemic" in northern Italy and that for now the situation in the nation's capital "appears to be under control".
Also on Monday, Health Minister Roberto Speranza spoke on the phone with World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge, who declared "full support for the measures adopted by Italy to tackle the new coronavirus emergency".
"This is a global challenge which countries must face together," Speranza said in a statement.