A woman at the Piazza Navona in Rome on April 29. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images

Over 4 million workers have applied to Italy's national welfare agency to get €600 payments (roughly $650) for wages lost due to the country's stay-at-home order, the agency tweeted on Wednesday.

The big picture: Italy plans to phase out of the world's longest-running coronavirus lockdown next week. As factories and construction sites reopen, the country will have to keep infections down to prevent another novel coronavirus spike.

Where it stands: The agency initially predicted that 2.3 million people would apply to the fund, Reuters reports. 630,000 applications for financial help are currently being verified, tweeted the agency, INPS.

  • Italy's unemployment rate is expected to hit 11% this year, per Statista.
  • Bloomberg Economics forecasts a 13% shrinkage in the country's GDP this year, while the government predicts the GDP will contract by 8%.

Go deeper: Italy reports lowest single-day coronavirus death toll since March 12

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Aug 7, 2020 - Health

Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases

A health worker in Nigeria checks students' temperatures on August 4. Photo: Pius Utomi Ekepei/AFP via Getty Images

African countries collectively surpassed 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases this week, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Why it matters: Some health experts believe that the true number of COVID-19 cases among African countries is higher than that figure due to a lack of testing, and fear that undetected cases could overload some of the world’s weakest health systems, according to AP.

Aug 7, 2020 - Health

Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning

Gov. Cuomo on July 23 in New York City. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that all school districts across the state can choose to reopen for in-person learning because it has so far maintained low enough coronavirus transmission rates.

Why it matters: It’s another sign that the state, once the global epicenter of the pandemic, has — at least for now — successfully curbed the spread of the virus even as infections have surged elsewhere around the country.

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