Italy has registered a record 24,991 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Wednesday, up from 21,994 on Tuesday.

The ministry also reported 205 deaths compared with 221 the day before, taking the total to 37,905.

The government on Sunday ordered the early closure of bars and restaurants and shutting down gyms, cinemas and theatres, among other measures. On Monday, violent protests broke out across several Italian cities. The crowds chanted: “Freedom” as they confronted police, which responded with tear gas.

The northern region of Lombardy, which was the epicentre of the country’s epidemic earlier this year, reported 7,558 new cases on Wednesday and 5,035 on Tuesday.

According to Wednesday’s data, the number of hospital admissions, as well as the one of intensive care patients is currently higher than when the government introduced a nationwide lockdown in March.

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