ROME

Italy on Sunday reported 361 new coronavirus-related deaths, down from 483 a day before, as the government prepares to approve new regional restrictions to stop the second wave of contagion.

The Italian Health Ministry also reported 18,627 new daily infections, down from 19,978 on Saturday.

The Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will meet next week to approve new measures that will be imposed from Jan. 16 in the areas where the contagion risk is higher.

Meanwhile, the country reached almost 590,000 people vaccinated against COVID-19, still the highest number of doses administered in the EU.

The vaccination campaign, however, continued to advance at different paces from region to region.

On Sunday, the southern Campania region complained it will have to temporarily stop vaccinating people, because it has finished the available doses only after two weeks from the start of the campaign.

Other regions – including Tuscany, Veneto and Umbria – have already alerted the government that they are running short of vaccine doses.

However, Domenico Arcuri, Italy’s special commissioner for the emergency, reassured regional governors that the distribution of new doses will start on Monday.

“By the end of March we will have vaccinated 6 millions of Italians,” Arcuri said on Sunday.

He added that by the end of the year Italy will have 60 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines available thanks to the agreements signed by the EU with producers Pfizer and Moderna.

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