Health officials voiced cautious hope on Sunday after the coronavirus death toll edged down from the previous day’s world record and the rate of infections slowed.

The country’s world-topping toll from its month-long crisis approached 5,500 and the number of COVID-19 infections neared 60,000. The number of new infections rose by a relatively modest 10.4 percent.
But top health officials sounded — while not upbeat — encouraged to see daily deaths fall back from Saturday’s grisly 793 to a slightly less shocking 651.
“The figures announced today are lower than those for yesterday,” Italian civil protection service chief Angelo Borrelli told reporters.

“I hope and we all hope that these figures can be borne out in the coming days. But do not let your guard down.” Italy has sacrificed its economy and liberties by shutting down and banning almost everything to halt the spread of a virus the government views as an existential threat.