In Italy, the most substantial increase in coronavirus deaths has been recorded since the outbreak a month ago. The authorities reported 627 new deaths on Friday, bringing the total number of casualties to 4,032. It is a jump of almost 20 percent. The Italian government is introducing even tighter lockdown measures to stem the spread of the virus.
On Thursday, Italy already overtook China as the country with the most registered corona deaths. The most massive increase so far in Italy was 475 deaths in 24 hours. China never reported more than 150 new deaths every day.
Almost 6,000 new cases of infection have also been identified, which, with an increase of almost 15 percent, is also a record for one day. There are already 47,021 confirmed infections. The number of healings rose by 15.5 percent to 5,129, while the number of people in intensive care rose by about six percent to 2,655.
The north remains the worst hit, especially Lombardy (with Milan), with over 22,000 cases and 2,549 deaths. Lazio, where Rome is located, reports 1,008 infections and 43 people who succumbed to the virus.
All parks and playgrounds closed
The Italian government is introducing even stricter lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the virus. The Ministry of Health ordered the closure of all parks and playgrounds on Friday evening. Outdoor activities are taboo; individual sports are allowed provided it is close to home. Bars and restaurants in train and gas stations also close. Taking a break from a second home is prohibited, according to the ministry.
“We need to do even more to curb the contamination. Guaranteeing efficient social distancing is key,” said Health Minister Roberto Speranza.
“Italy is not alone”
“Italy is not alone.” The message has been sent by President of the European Council, Charles Michel, in an emotional letter to Italian President Sergio Mattarella. In it, Michel assures the southern European country of European solidarity, and the former prime minister expresses his admiration for Italian crisis management.
“We are following with emotion and respect the pioneering role of the Italian authorities in managing the crisis, with timely, comprehensive, and socially meaningful measures to combat the spread of the infection,” said Charles Michel. While some may have underestimated the magnitude of the threat, “Italy has displayed an unshakable sense of foresight, unity, and resilience. Italy’s answer has been and is an example for many countries ”.
Michel also wants to send a message to the Italians through the Italian president: “You are not alone”. And at the end of the letter, Michel assures that Europe and Italy will emerge stronger from this crisis. “As we can hear in all corners of your beautiful country: Everything will be fine”.