September 24, 2020, 1:50

Coronavirus updates: Italy cautiously emerges from world’s longest lockdown

Coronavirus updates: Italy cautiously emerges from world’s longest lockdown

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 247,000 people worldwide.

Over 3.5 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 1.1 million diagnosed cases and at least 67,682 deaths.

Today’s biggest developments:

  • Global death toll nears a quarter of a million
  • Italy cautiously emerges from world’s longest lockdown
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    3:32 a.m.: Italy cautiously emerges from world's longest lockdown

    Italy, the first country in the world to impose a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, eased some restrictions on Monday as the number of new infections continued to decline.

    Starting Monday, parks and public gardens will reopen, people will be allowed to visit relatives within the same region, restaurants can provide takeaway services and athletes will be able to resume training for individual sports. Still, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has insisted that social distancing must remain at all times and large gatherings will not be permitted.

    Construction sites, factories and wholesale supply businesses were allowed to resume work last week or as soon as they implement safety measures against the novel coronavirus. An estimated 4.4 million people in Italy have been able to return to work.

    Commuters arrive from a regional train at the Cardona railway station in Milan as Italy starts to ease its lockdown on May 4, 2020. Stir-crazy residents are now free to stroll parks and visit relatives for the first time in nine weeks as Italy, the first country in the world to impose a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, began relaxing some restrictions.Commuters arrive from a regional train at the Cardona railway station in Milan as Italy starts to ease its lockdown on May 4, 2020. Stir-crazy residents are now free to stroll parks and visit relatives for the first time in nine weeks as Italy, the first country in the world to impose a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, began relaxing some restrictions.Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images

    Then if all goes well, shops, museums and libraries will reopen on May 18, followed by bars, restaurants, cafes and beauty salons on June 1. Schools, however, will not reopen before September, according to Conte.

    A number of other countries in Europe and around the world have also begun relaxing coronavirus-related restrictions or have announced plans to do so imminently.

    An employee sprays box trees in the park of the Villa Doria Pamphili in Rome on May 4, 2020, as Italy starts to ease its lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus. Stir-crazy Italians will be free to stroll and visit relatives for the first time in nine weeks on May 4, 2020 as Europe's hardest-hit country eases back the world's longest nationwide coronavirus lockdown. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)An employee sprays box trees in the park of the Villa Doria Pamphili in Rome on May 4, 2020, as Italy starts to ease its lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus. Stir-crazy Italians will be free to stroll and visit relatives for the first time in nine weeks on May 4, 2020 as Europe's hardest-hit country eases back the world's longest nationwide coronavirus lockdown. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images

    Italy, one of the worst-hit countries in the pandemic, has been under a nationwide lockdown since March 9. More than 210,000 people in the European country have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and nearly 29,000 have died, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

    Italy reported some 1,400 new cases on Sunday, down from its peak of around 6,600 new cases on March 21.

    What to know about coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself: Coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms: Coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the U.S. and worldwide: Coronavirus map
  • Sourse: abcnews.go.com

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