- Italy recorded 168 new deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday, the highest leap in fatalities in a single day in the country.
- Italy’s total death toll was at 631 on Tuesday, and the number of infections soared past 10,000.
- Italy’s number of infections and deaths are second only to China, which has been recording a dramatic improvement in the outbreak.
- The jump in fatalities was recorded on the first day of a nationwide lockdown for the country’s 60 million citizens to prevent the virus from spreading further and to protect vulnerable people.
- The country’s stretched medical workers are already dealing with supply shortages and being forced to make decisions about who they treat first.
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Italy recorded 168 new deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday – its highest death toll in a single day – in further evidence that it is now the hardest-hit country dealing with the outbreak.
As of Wednesday morning, 631 people had died from the coronavirus in Italy and 10,149 people were infected. The leap in numbers means Italy represents about 15% of the global death toll of 4,200 people.
Its death toll and total cases are second only to mainland China, where the coronavirus outbreak started last December. China, however, appears to be turning a corner, recording fewer and fewer new cases every day.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte put the entire country on lockdown on Tuesday, mandating a “stay at home” policy, closing large gathering places and cultural centres, banning nonessential travel, and limiting the opening hours of many shops and restaurants.
Despite these measures, Italy’s medical system is under enormous pressure to handle the cases. Doctors have been working back-to-back shifts and are making agonizing decisions about who to prioritise for treatment – and are reportedly opting to favour young and healthy people over older patients.
Italy detected its first three coronavirus cases in late January.
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