ROME, March 24 (Xinhua) -- The coronavirus pandemic has claimed 6,820 lives in locked down Italy as of Tuesday with the cumulative total number reaching 69,176, according to new data released by the Civil Protection Department.
Speaking at a televised press conference, Civil Protection Department Chief Angelo Borrelli said Italy reported 5,249 new cases of coronavirus and 743 new deaths on Tuesday and that 54,030 people are currently positive for the coronavirus, one month after the pandemic broke out in northern Italy on Feb. 21.
As well, a total of 8,326 patients have recovered, said Borrelli who is also the national commissioner in charge of the coronavirus emergency.
The numbers are up from an official tally on Monday evening of 50,418 active infections, 6,077 deaths, and 7,432 recoveries.
Borrelli also confirmed that former Civil Protection Department chief Guido Bertolaso has tested positive for the virus.
Franco Locatelli, president of Italy's Higher Health Council, denied media rumors that the nationwide lockdown, which under the current government decree expires on April 3, might be extended to the end of July. "Absolutely not," Locatelli said.