Italy on Friday reported 40,902 more cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the highest daily rise since the start of the pandemic, as the government imposed a partial lockdown on two other regions.

According to Health Ministry data, the new daily infections rose 7.7% from a day before, bringing the total of COVID-19 cases to 1,107,303, after the country surpassed the 1-million mark on Wednesday.

The new high in the number of infections, however, reflected a record number of 255,000 swab tests performed in the past 24 hours.

The Italian Health Ministry also registered 550 more fatalities, bringing the death toll to 44,139.

Experts stressed that — despite the surging number of daily infections — the curve of the contagion is showing the first signs of a stabilization.

Under pressure to stem a second wave that is putting most Italian hospitals under strain, the government on Friday toughened its restrictions in the central Tuscany and southern Campania regions, adding them to those classified as high-risk “red zones”.

Under the three-tier system introduced last week, the red zones are imposed the strongest restrictions, with a sort of “light” lockdown.

On Friday, three more regions — Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, and Marche — went from being low-risk “yellow” zones to medium-risk “orange” zones, with the new restrictions effective from Nov. 15.

Earlier on Friday, Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte said he was confident that the virus transmission rate will drop from the current rate of 1.7, meaning that the government’s system based on local and partial closures is starting to bear fruits.

Conte has been trying to avoid a new national lockdown “at all costs”, saying it would be devastating for Italy’s fragile economy.

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