Tests: 2.5% of Italians had COVID-19, far more in the north
But officials said Monday that huge geographic variations in the results confirmed a nationwide lockdown was absolutely crucial to preventing the country's south from getting slammed as badly as its north. But there were significant geographic disparities: An estimated 7.5% of the Lombardy region's residents had virus antibodies versus 1.9% in neighboring Veneto. For the past few weeks, it has registered some 200-300 new confirmed cases each day, many of them imported by returning workers or migrants. On Monday, it added 159 confirmed cases and another 12 deaths. The tests were originally supposed to be conducted on some 150,000 Italians in 2,000 cities and towns nationwide.