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Pandemic-hit Italy cheered Saturday after seeing its number of intensive care cases for the coronavirus that stretched its healthcare system to breaking point drop for the first time.
Even some of the most cautious health officials seized on the figures as evidence that the tide might be turning in the deadliest disaster the country has faced since World War II.
Civil protection service chief Angelo Borrelli called the drop from 4,068 on Friday to 3,994 on Saturday a big moment in Italy's battle against COVID-19.
"This is a very important data point because the figure is decreasing for the first time," Borrelli told reporters.
"It is important because it allows our hospitals to breathe."