The number of people officially identified as infected with coronavirus in Italy has fallen for the first time since the country’s outbreak began, authorities have said.
As of Monday, there were 108,237 people either being treated in hospital or recovering at home, 20 fewer than the previous day.
Authorities say the small but symbolic drop is a “positive development”.
Italy’s lockdown continues until 3 May but some businesses have reopened.
They include bookshops, stationers and shops selling children’s clothes, as officials see how social distancing measures can be safely applied.
Italy has the third-highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world after Spain and the US. On Sunday, the increase of active positive cases in the country was 486.
“For the first time, we have seen a new positive development: the number of currently positive has declined,” civil protection agency chief Angelo Borrelli told reporters.
More than 24,000 people have so far died of the coronavirus in Italy, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the disease globally.
However, as people who die at home or in care facilities are not included in the country’s figures, many believe the actual death and infection rates may be higher than the official tallies.