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COVID-19 deaths in Italy exceed 30,000

ROME — The number of people in Italy who’ve died with COVID-19 infections has topped 30,000.

The Health Ministry registered 243 deaths on Friday, bringing the total of those who died in the country to 30,201. Italy was the first country in Europe with a major outbreak of the coronavirus.

Authorities say many more likely died with the infection at home or in nursing homes without being diagnosed.

With 1,327 more cases registered in the 24-hour period ending Friday evening, Italy now tallies 217,185 confirmed coronavirus infections. Some 11,000 more people have recovered from the illness than are currently positive for the infection.

Lombardy in the north continues to be the hardest-hit region, accounting for nearly one-half of the latest cases registered on Friday. Health and government authorities are concerned that partial easing earlier in the week of some lockdown measures, such as re-opening of public parks and gardens, could see an uptick in contagion if people ignore safety-distance rules.

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