MILAN—Italy’s coronavirus pandemic passed its peak three weeks ago. But the ebbing of contagion is slow, prolonging the pain of the national lockdown, and the biggest problem is where it all began: Lombardy.

In Italy’s most populous and economically important region, where Milan is the capital, the number of new infections remains stubbornly high, raising doubts about whether Italy is ready to start unwinding its lockdown as scheduled from May 4.

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