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The Italian health authorities have counted 12,415 new cases this Sunday and another 377 deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, compared to the 16,310 new infections and 475 deaths from the previous day.

Thus, so far, 2,381,277 people have been infected with COVID-19 in Italy, while the fatalities due to the disease have risen to 82,177 on Italian soil, according to Civil Protection data collected by the newspaper ‘ La Repubblica ‘.

The Italian Ministry of Health has confirmed the downward trend in hospital admissions. This Sunday 27 people have required hospitalization -57 on Saturday-, for a total of 22,757. 124 people have been received in intensive care, while 17 – two on Saturday – have been able to leave these facilities. A total of 2,503 people remain admitted to the ICU in Italy.

Also, in the last 24 hours, 16,510 people have managed to recover from the disease, bringing the total to 1,745,726.

This balance is released after the Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, signed on Friday a decree that establishes new restrictions due to COVID-19 in the country, which are intended to slow the spread of the disease.

The provision, which came into force on Saturday and will run until March 5, introduces measures, norms and prohibitions regarding educational centers, bars and restaurants and travel, among others.

Thus, as the Italian press had advanced, first and second year high school students will return to classrooms, while bars and restaurants have been prohibited from offering take-out service after 6:00 p.m. While swimming pools and gyms will remain closed, museums will be able to reopen in areas that are in the yellow risk zone.

In addition, the quarantine for travelers from the European Union has been eliminated and, instead, it will be sufficient to present a rapid test carried out within 48 hours prior to entering Italy. Entry from the UK and Ireland will remain suspended, while Italian ship cruises will be able to restart.

On the other hand, the decree blocks travel between all Italian regions until February 15, tightens the criteria that bring an area to the orange or red alert level and creates a new white area – the one with the lowest risk – for those parts of the country that do not exceed an incidence rate of 50 positives per 100,000 inhabitants.

In another vein, Conte has announced that one million Italians have already received the vaccine against COVID-19. Conte, who has extended his “gratitude” to the citizens and the Italian health system “for their extraordinary response”, stressed that Italy maintains the highest vaccination rate against the disease in the European Union. “An encouraging fact. We will continue to keep our guard up,” he has transferred through his account on the social network Twitter.

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