Italy reported 2,844 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, confirming a surge in infections as swab tests remained steady at over 100,000.

The southern Campania region registered the highest number of new cases at 401, followed by Lombardy at 393.

The first region to do so was Campania, where hardline governor Vincenzo De Luca also threatened to shut down business activities again if the number of cases kept surging.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed on Saturday that he would ask parliament to extend the country’s state of emergency to the end of January, making it easier for officials to make swift decisions and avoid bureaucratic hurdles.

While a strict nationwide lockdown started to ease in May, Italian schools reopened in mid-September after six months of closure amid worries that the restart of daily activities could spark a new outbreak in the Fall.

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