Italy reported a second successive drop in daily deaths and infections from a coronavirus that has nevertheless claimed more than 6,000 lives in a month.

The number of new declared infections fell from 6,557 on Saturday to 4,789 on Monday.

The top medical officer for Milan's devastated Lombardy region appeared on television smiling for the first time in many weeks.

"We cannot declare victory just yet," Giulio Gallera said.

Cumulative number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Italy since Feb 1, with dates when confinement measures were introduced Cumulative number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Italy since Feb 1, with dates when confinement measures were introduced Photo: AFP / Patricio ARANA

"But there is light at the end of the tunnel."

Italy's National Health Institute (ISS) chief Silvio Brusaferro was more guarded.

"These are positive numbers but I do not have the courage to firmly state that there is a downward trend," the medical expert told reporters.

Coronavirus: Italian police enforce beach closures outside Rome Coronavirus: Italian police enforce beach closures outside Rome Photo: AFP / Alberto PIZZOLI

Germany announced on Monday that it had accepted the Italian government's request to care for some of the sick, with six patients to be transferred to hospitals in Dresden and Leipzig, in the eastern state of Saxony.

Italians will desperately hope that weeks of living under a lockdown in which even a jog in the park was eventually banned was the price worth paying for beating back the new disease.

Saturday's record toll was followed by a late-night address to the nation in which Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the additional closure of "non-essential" factories.

A municipal worker disinfects the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence as part of the measures taken by the Italian government to fight the spread of the COVID-19 A municipal worker disinfects the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence as part of the measures taken by the Italian government to fight the spread of the COVID-19 Photo: AFP / Carlo BRESSAN

His government also banned travel to help a country that turned into the new epicentre of the pandemic last week get through a critical stretch in which restrictions are supposed to finally show results.

"Now more than ever, everyone's commitment is needed," Health Minister Roberto Speranza said after Monday's figures came out.

Italy's toll now stands at 6,077 -- more than that of China and third-placed Spain combined.

Italy has been under lockdown for two weeks Italy has been under lockdown for two weeks Photo: AFP / Carlo Hermann

Italy has sacrificed its economy and liberties by closing and banning almost everything to halt the spread of a virus the government views as an existential threat.

Italians will desperately hope that weeks of living under a lockdown in which even a jog in the park was eventually banned was the price worth paying for beating back the new disease Italians will desperately hope that weeks of living under a lockdown in which even a jog in the park was eventually banned was the price worth paying for beating back the new disease Photo: AFP / Filippo MONTEFORTE

The nation has rallied around its exhausted doctors and tried to deal with life under a state of emergency with humour and grace.

Entire city blocks have organised balcony parties with nightly DJs. There have been singalongs and synchronised rounds of applause.

But Italians' nerves were clearly starting to fray and the pushback on social media against the ever-changing rules and tightening regulations was getting strong.

Twitter posts went viral ridiculing mayors and regional chiefs who threatened to jail joggers and fine people for walking their dogs too far from their homes.

The government's new partial ban of seemingly random industries added to an air of confusion in the face of a disease Conte has called Italy's biggest disaster since World War II.

Auto part makers were allowed to stay open but steel mills were shut. News stands could still operate but book stores could not.

The reality is that Conte's team is running out of things to close or ban.

Other nations are also watching the Italian numbers to see if Conte's ban-everything tactics work.

Italy is on the frontline of a war against a disease being fought by means that currently restrict freedoms and devastate economies.

Some are starting to openly ask if this price is too high -- even as the global death toll soars.

Officials pleaded with the nation of 60 million -- people accustomed to celebrating life outdoors deep into the night -- to sacrifice individual liberties for the common good for two weeks.

Serie A side Napoli on Monday delayed the resumption of training, while international wine fair Vinitaly -- held annually in Verona -- was further postponed until next year.

The initial restrictions placed on the northern epicentre of the pandemic around Milan expired on Sunday and the national measures are set to end on Wednesday.

His decision is expected within days.

"If everyone -- and I stress everyone -- respects our bans, we will emerge from this very difficult test first," Conte said on Monday.