Italy witnesses highest one-day toll with 368 new deaths

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Mar 15, 2020, 11:50 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

With the new deaths, total number of deaths in Italy jumped to 1,809, highest outside mainland China 

Italy on Sunday confirmed 368 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, its highest one-day increase since the outbreak. 

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With the new deaths, the total number of deaths in Italy jumped to 1,809, highest outside mainland China. 

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The number of infections in the country has reached 24,747, according to a tally released by Italy's civil protection service. 

Italy's northern Lombardy region around Milan continue to be European epicentre of the outbreak, reporting 1,218 fatalities, or 67 per cent of the total died in Italy. 

However, on Sunday, the death toll in the southeastern Puglia region around the city of Bari doubled from eight to 16. 

The Lazio region that includes the capital city of Rome has officially confirmed 16 deaths in all, three more on Sunday, and 436 infections.  

Milan's Lombardy region governor Attilio Fontana said the situation in regions nearby Italy's financial capital was "getting worse".

"We are close to the point where we will no longer be able to resuscitate people because we will be out of intensive care unit beds," Fontana said to Italy's Sky TG24 channel.

"We need those machines (doctors) use to ventilate lungs, artificial respirators that unfortunately we cannot find," the governor said. 

"As soon as those respirators arrive from abroad, we will be ready to go on the attack."

Milan mayor Beppe Sala said that China managed to deliver surgical masks in order to address the growing shortage. 

"The first shipment arrived (Friday) and we will now distribute them to doctors, to our staff," Sala said.

Despite China's aid, the situation remains tense in Lombardy, whose healthcare system has been repeatedly appreciated by the World Health Organization. 

"There are no more ambulances" in areas around Milan, Lombardy welfare councillor Giulio told reporters on Saturday. 

The governor of Venice's Veneto region urged "everyone to remain in isolation" to avoid overburdening the hospitals. 

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte insisted on Sunday that his government was paying "maximum attention" to the outbreak in the north.

Conte's government was set to announce a new crisis plan that reportedly would provide relief to families such as parental leave pay and help for the self-employed.

(With AFP inputs)


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