Italy registered a number of infections exceeding 2,000 for the first time since April on Thursday, when 2,548 residents tested positive for coronavirus in one day.
Before Italy’s civil protection agency released the official daily figures, in an appointment that has become a routine for Italians, Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, announced that he would seek to extend a state of emergency the country has been working under until at least the end of January.
The decree, which was put in place to help deal with the pandemic, allows the government to maintain greater centralized power, skip some bureaucracy, including making working from home easier, and restrict travel if need be.
Italy is faring better than many of its neighbors at the moment. But Italians have seen the virus at its worst. From March through May, more than 30,000 people in Italy died of the virus and it still has the highest death toll in continental Europe.
Health officials have expressed concern about the situation of neighboring countries, like Spain and France, which are seeing strong spikes in cases. And the reopening of schools and universities has led millions of Italians to increase their social interactions, adding to virus risks. Mr. Conte said that the situation remained “critical” in televised remarks, and that it demands diligence from officials and from citizens alike.