Medical workers in protective suits check a document as they treat patients suffering with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in an…
Medical workers in protective suits check a document as they treat patients suffering with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in an intensive care unit at the Casalpalocco hospital in Rome, March 24, 2020.

Italy, which has suffered by far the deadliest consequences of the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported Tuesday a third consecutive day in which its daily deaths and new infections declined. 

The 601 deaths recorded Monday are still a staggering figure, but one that is a vast improvement from nearly 800 on Saturday. 

Italy has reported more than 6,000 deaths and has the second highest overall number of cases.  Officials put the entire country on lockdown two weeks ago in hopes of stopping the spread of the virus that has reached nearly every country on the planet. 

South Korea, which once held the position of being one of the hardest-hit nations showed its own continued progress, reporting Tuesday a daily rise in new cases of 76.  That was its 13th consecutive day below 100. 

A woman wearing a protective face mask visits the Badaling Great Wall of China after it reopened for business, March 24, 2020.

Meanwhile China continues to report its own improvements with just four locally transmitted cases in its latest figures Tuesday.   

Officials said healthy people in Hubei province, the center of the outbreak, will be able to leave the province after two months of lockdown.  The provincial capital, Wuhan, will see the same relief in early April.   

But worries persist about a comeback for the virus in China, the place it was first detected in late December, due to cases among people who arrive from elsewhere in the world.  China reported 74 such imported cases Tuesday.

Those fears have prompted governments all over the world to institute travel restrictions. 

Tourists from Mexico wearing masks as a precaution against the spread of the new coronavirus, wait for their flight home, at the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba, March 23, 2020.

Beginning Tuesday, Cuba is barring all tourists from entering the country.  Those already there will go into mandatory quarantine, while Cuban citizens will not be able to leave the island. 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a three-week, nationwide lockdown will begin Thursday as the country’s case count rose to 554. 

In the United States, about one-third of the population is under stay-at-home orders issued by state governors.  The latest was the governor of Hawaii telling people to not go out except for essential trips, while the governor of the western state of Washington tightened an existing order to include closing non-essential businesses. 

President Donald Trump, with ‪Vice President Mike Pence‬, Attorney General Bill Barr and White House Coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, leads the daily coronavirus response briefing at the White House, March 23, 2020.

President Donald Trump also signed an executive order Monday which criminalizes the stockpiling of personal protective equipment that medical personnel need to stay safe while treating coronavirus patients. 

With the national and global response to the outbreak taking an economic toll, U.S. political leaders met late into Monday night trying to finalize an agreement on a massive economic rescue package.  They expressed confidence they can reach a deal on Tuesday. 

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