For a fifth straight day on Monday, Italy's daily number of new COVID-19 infections has declined. According to Italian Health Ministry data, there were 744 confirmed new cases registered since Sunday evening.
That number is lower than daily caseloads when contagion containment measures went into effect nationwide in early March.
The country where Europe's outbreak began now has 219,814 cases, a tally that experts say is surely significantly lower than actual infections, since many with mild or moderate coronavirus symptoms didn't get hospitalized or tested.
In recent days, the number of daily new deaths also has been significantly lower than in early weeks, with 179 registered on Monday. Still, the known death toll is one of the world's highest 30,739.
Health officials say it will be later this week at earliest before they can assess if a limited easing of lockdown restrictions on citizens' movements, including the opening of public parks last week, has triggered any uptick in infections.
Italy is moving cautiously and gradually in reopening economic sectors and in removing travel limits.