ROME

Italy reported a new record for coronavirus infections, registering its highest daily toll since the start of the pandemic with 8,804 cases in the past 24 hours.

Once Europe’s epicenter of the pandemic, the country also added 83 new deaths, doubling fatalities from Wednesday and bringing that number to 36,372. 

The number of patients in intensive care units also grew by 47.

The northern Lombardy region, which was the hardest hit in the first wave of the contagion, has the highest number of daily cases, with more than 2,000 infections.

Piemonte followed with 1,000, along with southern Campania, whose governor threatened to impose a local lockdown if the region hit 1,000 new daily infections.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte reiterated that the government does not want to impose a new nationwide lockdown that would be devastating for the economy but, he said, individual regions could introduce separate restrictions, including on public transport and late-night curfews.

The government issued a new decree Tuesday imposing stricter restrictions, including bans on private parties and early closures for bars and restaurants.

Italy also introduced changes to quarantine rules, reducing to 10 from 14 days the minimum isolation period for those who test positive or have been in contact with COVID-19 patients.

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