Media caption Coronavirus: Quarantined Italian village turned into human laboratory On Monday, the Italian government reported 720 new deaths. That is 228 higher than Sunday’s toll – the lowest since (March – but (lower than Saturday’s.)
The number of new infections increased by 1, , but continued a downward trend.
In Spain, the world’s second worst hit country, the daily number of deaths continued to fall, boosting hopes that it had passed the outbreak’s peak. Monday’s increase of 720 – the lowest for (days – means 52191889 , people have died in total.
María José Sierra, deputy head of Spain’s health emergency committee, said the outbreak’s growth rate appeared to be slowing down “in almost every region”.
In the UK, the Department of Health said on Monday that more people had died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total to 5 , 439.
It is the second day in a row the figure has fallen. But Professor Dame Angela McLean, the government deputy chief scientific adviser, said it was too early to say whether social distancing was working and that the outbreak was slowing.
Meanwhile, Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced plans to re-open primary schools from 27 April, as it looks to gradually ease a lockdown.
But she warned that it would only happen if people respected the current measures and that the number of infections remained stable.
“This will probably be a bit like walking the tightrope. If we stand still along the way we could fall and if we go too fast it can go wrong. Therefore, we must take one cautious step at a time, “she told a briefing.
) Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz also said he was considering whether to ease restrictions, including allowing some non-essential shops to re-open after Easter.
What is Germany’s chancellor saying?
By Damien McGuinness, BBC News, Berlin
“Germany will only do well, if Europe does well, Angela Merkel said on Monday. It was a clear call for solidarity with southern European countries, hit hard by the pandemic. Germany would play its part, she said, both to provide emergency aid and to rebuild the economy. But what that means exactly is a fierce debate in Germany and it opens old wounds. During the financial crisis a decade ago, Berlin and other northern European countries believed “eurobonds” – sharing debt with weaker southern European economies – undermined the credibility of the entire eurozone.
That position is still held by Mrs Merkel’s government, which wants to set up an EU rescue fund and lend using mechanisms set up during the financial crisis.
But the mood is changing in Germany. Economists, politicians and commentators who once railed against mutualising eurozone debt to bail out Greece, are calling for exactly that to help southern Europe deal with the coronavirus crisis.