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Italy announces 651 more COVID-19 deaths and almost 4,000 new cases

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A man walks past a large billboard raising awareness to the measures taken by the Italian government to fight against the spread of the COVID-19.
A man walks past a large billboard raising awareness to the measures taken by the Italian government to fight against the spread of the COVID-19.   -   Copyright  CARLO HERMANN/AFP
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Italy reported another 651 deaths due to the COVID-19 coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the total death toll to over 5,000. It also reported almost 4,000 new cases.

The figures, although terrible, represent an improvement on the numbers for the previous 24-hour period, and, according to the authorities, offer a glimmer of hope for the future.

"Today's numbers are in contrast to yesterday's", the country's Civil Protection Chief, Angelo Borrelli told a media conference. "We hope that these numbers can be confirmed in the coming days. We must not let our guard down".

Italy remains on severe lockdown. The normally busy highways are practically deserted, and if people do venture out, the police want to know why.

Everyone has to justify their movements.

In the worst-hit northern province of Bergamo towns such as Nembro are eerily quiet. It's the same in nearby Alzano and in Mediglia.

Italy has suffered more deaths from COVID-19 than any other country in the world, and some think the real toll is higher than the official figure.