Europe Coronavirus Updates: Italy records 192,994 infections, Spain sees fall in daily deaths

A seagull stands in front of the Colosseo in Rome, Italy, on April 21, 2020. (Photo by Alberto Lingria/Xinhua)

Italy records 192,994 infections;

— UK pushes forward coronavirus vaccine trial;

— France in study of lockdown exit strategy;

— Germany reports over 150,000 COVID-19 cases;

— Spain sees fall in daily deaths from COVID-19. 

(Xinhua) — The following are the latest developments of the COVID-19 pandemic in European countries.

ROME — The coronavirus pandemic has claimed 25,969 lives in locked-down Italy, bringing the total number of infections, fatalities and recoveries so far to 192,994, according to the latest data released by the country’s Civil Protection Department on Friday.

The death toll on Friday was 420, bringing the nationwide fatalities to 25,969 since the pandemic first broke out in the northern Lombardy region on Feb. 21. Friday’s death toll is the lowest since March 18.

Total active infections stood at 106,527, down by 321 cases compared to the previous day, according to the latest data published in a bulletin. This is the fifth consecutive daily drop in the number of active infections nationwide.

French Civil Protection volunteers arrive at an accommodation establishment for dependent elderly people (called “Ehpad” in French), in Epinay sur Seine near Paris, France, April 22, 2020. (Photo by Aurelien Morissard/Xinhua)

PARIS — Amid tentative signs of a slowing in the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the French government is looking to ease nationwide lockdown on May 11, in the hopes of injecting life into the crumbling economy while ensuring people’ safety.

The national lockdown, into its six weeks, has born fruits in curbing the coronavirus. On Thursday, the number of patients in intensive care continued a two-week decline. The overall number of those who remain hospitalized with the virus continued to drop, consolidating an eight-day trend.

The details of the government’s exit strategy is set to be unveiled on Tuesday.

Photo taken on April 24, 2020 shows a sign outside Oxford University’s Trinity College in Oxford, Britain, April 24, 2020. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua)

LONDON — After implementing social distancing measures for weeks, Britain has hit “the peak” of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the country’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock. But medical experts said only a valid vaccine or highly effective drugs can give people assurance that the fight against COVID-19 could be finally won.

That is why the vaccine trial carried out by a team at the University of Oxford is drawing much attention. The process is moving at a rapid pace — Oxford researchers have begun vaccine trials on humans on Thursday.

The vaccine programs respectively at Oxford and the Imperial College London are at the forefront of Britain’s vaccine development efforts. The British government has announced that it will provide funding for these two programs.

A Policewoman wearing a face mask checks a vehicle at a checkpoint on the border between Germany and Austria in Bad Reichenhall, southern Germany, on April 23, 2020. (Photo by Kevin Voigt/Xinhua)

BERLIN — Germany has reported 2,337 new infections of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, with total cases reaching 150,383, according to data from disease control agency Robert Koch Institute (RKI) released Friday.

The number of daily infections has dropped significantly compared with the over 6,000 at the height of pandemic in the country.

However, RKI Vice President Lars Schaade said that around 2,000 new cases per day was “still a lot,” believing the single-day infections need to drop to a few hundreds before a further easing of measures could be considered.

A nurse gives a book and a rose to a patient at a hospital during Saint George’s Day in Barcelona, Spain, April 23, 2020. (Photo by Francisco Avia/Xinhua)

MADRID — Spain registered 367 new deaths from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours until 21:00 local time on Thursday, bringing the country’s total death toll from the coronavirus-caused disease to 22,524, the Spanish Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Services said on Friday.

The daily death number is 73 fewer than the 440 deaths reported for the previous 24-hour period and brings an end to three consecutive days of rising.

It’s also the lowest single-day death toll from the disease since March 21

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