ROME — Silvio Berlusconi’s doctor says that the hospitalized former Italian premier is responding “optimally” to COVID-19 treatment, but that he belongs to the most vulnerable category of patients and is in “the most delicate phase” of the virus.
Dr. Alberto Zangrillo, who is head of intensive care at the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, repeated Sunday that he nevertheless remained “cautiously optimistic” about Berlusconi’s recovery.
“The patient is responding optimally to treatment,” he said. “This doesn’t mean we can claim victory because, as you know, he belongs to the most fragile category” given his age. He also suggested Berlusconi would not be released anytime soon, recalling that the virus “requires adequate treatment and takes its time.”
The three-time premier turns 84 in a few weeks and has had a history of heart problems that required being fitted with a pacemaker several years ago. He checked into San Raffaele Friday after testing positive for the virus earlier in the week. Zangrillo said at the time that he had the early stages of a lung infection.
Data from Italy’s Superior Institute of Health indicates men aged 80-87 have the highest COVID-19 lethality rate among all cases in Italy, at 47%.
Berlusconi spent some of his summer vacation at his seaside villa on Sardinia’s Emerald Coast. Many of Italy’s recent cases of COVID-19 have been linked to clusters in people who vacationed on Sardinia.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK
— Refugee families face unique struggles with online school
— Thanks, but no: Small businesses shun payroll tax deferral
— Spanish doctors hope beach trips can help ICU virus patients
— Hundreds of migrants have been transferred to a ferry from a tiny Italian island to relieve severe overcrowding during the coronavirus pandemic at a residence for asylum-seekers
— India’s coronavirus caseload has surpassed 4 million, deepening misery in the country’s vast hinterlands, where surges have crippled the underfunded health care system.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
MELBOURNE, Australia — The premier of Australia’s Victoria state announced a slight easing of restrictions in Melbourne but the country’s second-largest city will remain in lockdown until at least Oct. 26.
State police charged a protester with assault after an officer suffered cuts to the head during an anti-lockdown rally in Melbourne on Saturday.
Police said that seven others have been charged with breaching COVID-19 directions after about 200 gathered at the Shrine of Remembrance and Albert Park. Scuffles between protesters and police resulted in more than 160 fines for contravening lockdown measures or not wearing a mask.
“Despite all the warnings, it was disappointing to see individuals turn out to protest in the city, putting the lives of Victorians at risk,” a police statement said.
On Sunday, health officials said Victoria recorded 63 new cases and five more deaths. It takes the state’s total fatalities to 666 and the national death toll to 753.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said that from Sept. 13, the nightly curfew will start an hour later at 9 p.m. and run until 5 a.m. People living alone can nominate a friend or family member who can visit them. Two hours of daily exercise will be allowed, including social interactions such as a picnic at a park or reading a book at the beach.
NEW DELHI — India saw another record surge of 90,632 cases in the past 24 hours, as infections spread to smaller cities and parts of rural India.
According to the Health Ministry, India’s caseload reached 4,113,811, slightly short of Brazil’s confirmed 4,123,000 infections. Brazil is the second worst-hit country after the United States with 6,245,112 cases.
The ministry on Sunday also reported 1,065 deaths for a total of 70,626.
More than 1 million cases have been detected in India in less than two weeks. Authorities say India’s daily testing exceeds 1 million now.
Dr. Randeep Guleria, a government health expert, said India is seeing a resurgence with over 70% of its nearly 1.4 billion people still susceptible to infections. “We could say that we are seeing some sort of a second wave in certain parts of the country.”
India’s recovery rate was 77.23%, leading to a decline in fatality rate to around 1.73% , the ministry said.
With the economy contracting by a record 23.9% in the April-June quarter, leaving millions jobless, the government is continuing to relax restrictions except in high-risk areas. It announced that subway will resume service on Monday after more than five months with restrictions on the number of people on board.
Guleria also noted the country is experiencing a COVID behavior fatigue with many people crowding public places without masks and the streets back to traffic jams.
Six of India’s 28 states — Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi — remain the worst-hit, accounting for 75% of fatalities and nearly 65% of total cases.
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada health officials on Saturday reported 390 additional COVID-19 cases and 13 new deaths, bringing the statewide totals to 71,102 confirmed cases and 1,388 deaths.
The vast majority of cases and deaths in Nevada have occurred in Clark County, which includes metro Las Vegas.
In other developments, Reno officials said a one-day closure of a small section of a downtown street for limited on-street food and drink service would be a test for helping restaurants whose operations are crimped by restrictions on mass gatherings.
Reno’s experiment Saturday follows the lead of other cities.
PHOENIX — A suburban school district in metro Phoenix has put off its plan to return its high school to in-person instruction from remote learning starting Tuesday.
Cactus Shadows High School Principal Tony Vining announced late Friday that Cave Creek Unified School District’s sole high school didn’t “have enough staff to safely open and will need to revert to our distance learning model.”
Some Arizona schools have reopened for in-person instruction, but J.O. Combs Unified in San Tan Valley, was thwarted last month because numerous teachers called in sick while voicing concerns about the safety of reopening schools.
The state Department of Health Services on Saturday reported 836 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases with 36 additional deaths, increasing the statewide totals to 205,516 cases and 5,207 deaths.