Global Update: With 619 Fatalities in 24 Hours, Italy’s Toll from Coronavirus Pandemic Crosses 19,000

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Italy has topped 19,468 deaths and 152,271 cases of the coronavirus.

The milestones were hit on Saturday even as the country continued to see a slight decrease in numbers of people hospitalized and in intensive care.

Deaths rose by 3.2%, or 619, to 19,468, while the number of people who tested positive for the virus reached 1,52,271, an increase of 4,694, or 3.1%.

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Just hours earlier, a tally kept by the Johns Hopkins University said the United States had overtaken Italy to become the country with the largest death toll in the coronavirus pandemic, with 18,860 fatalities.

Officials have been warning Italians not to keep their guard down even if the number of new cases and deaths is narrowing, especially on the Easter holiday weekend when many are tempted to go to the countryside or seashore.

Police checkpoints were set up around major arteries in Milan, the capital of the hardest-hit region of Lombardy, with 38% of all cases and more than half of all deaths.

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