Italy confirmed on Thursday 262 more coronavirus-related fatalities as its death toll rises to 31,368.
The country will start testing a representative sample of 150,000 people in 2,000 cities next week to understand the extent of its COVID-19 epidemic, the head of the government's scientific committee told parliament on Thursday.
Italy has had more than 222,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 31,000 deaths since its outbreak came to light on Feb. 21. Most of them have been in its northern regions, while the south has escaped largely unscathed.
Italy was the first European country to impose a nationwide lockdown in March to curb the contagion. Last week it began relaxing some of the restrictions.