Written byShalini Ojha ·
In what shows that things aren't getting any better in Italy, the number of people dying due to novel coronavirus climbed to 627 on a single day on Friday, the Italian Civil Protection Agency announced.
A total of 4,032 people have died so far, and 47,021 are infected. The death toll in Italy has surpassed that of China, where the virus originated last year.
On a daily basis, Italy is scripting one grim history record after another, making it the global epicenter of COVID-19, the disease caused by a novel coronavirus.
Lombardy in the North is the worst-affected area but the pandemic is also spreading to Central and South areas.
The country's world-class healthcare system has virtually collapsed and there's a scarcity of intensive care units and beds.
The European nation has been under full lockdown since March 9 but the benefits of the restrictions will be revealed only after a couple of weeks.
There's also a concern that the lockdown isn't enough. "Unfortunately, the numbers of contagions are not going down. Shortly we will not be able to assist those who fall ill," Attilio Fontana, Lombardy's President, said.
Fontana noted that if the message about lockdown wasn't clear, the government needs to change its approach and be more aggressive towards it.
And in a bid to force residents to stay indoors, the Army has been asked to assist police in enforcing the lockdown.
The Army was already tasked with removing the dead bodies. Some 114 soldiers will remain on the ground.
As a part of crisis management, the northern town of Veneto closed parks and said people can no longer go for walks, while Emilia-Romagna banned jogging.
The authorities are now particularly worried about Milan, an important city in Italy.
The number of coronavirus-positive cases rose by 526 in an around Milan, a rise of 16%. Experts believe Milan will be the next hotspot.
"I am extremely worried by what is happening ... there are still too many people out and about," said Massimo Galli, who heads the infectious disease unit at Sacco hospital, said.
The government has ordered all restaurants, and pubs to remain shut till March 25.
In fact, in a bid to boost morale, all radio stations played the national anthem simultaneously at 11:00 am.
But the national mood is sombre. "It feels like we are in another world. I don't know, it is a really bad feeling. I hope it will finish soon because really, this is not good," said Rome resident Anna Marcotullio.
Like Italy, Spain also recorded its highest-ever death toll of 235. The total number of deceased climbed to 1,093 and 21,571 are infected.
In Iran, the death toll now stands at 1,433.
264 people have died due to the virus in the USA, and there's huge pressure on President Donald Trump's administration to take concrete steps to avoid an Italy-like situation.
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