Italy reported 743 new deaths from the coronavirus Tuesday, cutting short a positive two-day trend that had offered hope the country’s draconian containment measures were bearing fruit.
Confirmed cases in the country now total 69,176, civil protection authorities said at their daily news conference in Rome. Active cases rose by 3,612, the least in nearly a week.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government may impose fines of up to 4,000 euros for violations of a nationwide lockdown as the country struggles to counter Europe’s worst coronavirus outbreak, Ansa news agency reported.
Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri said in a parliamentary appearance that the economy contracted “sharply” in March and will likely do so in April too, assuming coronavirus containment measures continue. The baseline scenario is for a recovery from May onward, with the economy contracting just by “a few” percentage points in full-year 2020.
The euro-zone economy is sinking into recession as more and more countries toughen containment efforts with strict stay-at-home policies.