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BRUSSELS: Coronavirus-stricken Europe breathed a sigh of relief Sunday, as Italy reported its lowest single-day deaths in nearly three weeks and Spain saw continued fall in new cases and deaths.

Between Saturday and Sunday, the coronavirus-related death toll in Italy was 525, the lowest one-day total since March 19, when COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, claimed 427 lives, Xinhua news agency reported.

The country registered its one-day high of 969 fatalities on March 27. The death toll has decreased in five of nine days since then.

Still, the pandemic has now resulted in 15,887 deaths, more than in any other country.

“We cannot let our guard down, but the trend” is positive, Angelo Borrelli, the head of Italy’s Civil Protection Department, was quoted on Sunday.

The number of active cases in the country climbed to 91,246 on Sunday, up from 88,274 a day earlier. All told, Italy has registered 128,948 cases since the start of the outbreak, up from 124,632 registered Saturday.

In Spain, which took over Italy on Saturday, has further reported a continued fall in the number of confirmed cases and deaths.

A total of 6,023 new infections were registered between Saturday and Sunday, fewer than the 7,026 new cases in the previous 24 hours and 7,472 between Thursday and Friday, bringing the country’s total infection cases to 130,759.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths in Spain rose by 674 to 12,418 on Saturday, 135 fewer than 809 deaths seen in the previous 24 hours. It means the country has seen the new daily deaths fall for three consecutive days.

Belgium, where confirmed cases neared 20,000, also saw a sign of change in trend. For the first time since the start of the pandemic in the country, the daily number of people cured overtook that of people hospitalised.

The public health institute Sciensano, in charge of monitoring and analyzing the COVID-19 data, reported that in the past 24 hours, 499 COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized while 504 people have left the hospital.

The lethal bug, which has spread across continents and territories, has infected at least 1.2 million and killed close to 70,000 others.

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