Italy's coronavirus death toll overtakes China's

Italian authorites reported on Thursday that the total number of deaths passed 3,400 in the last 24 hours, meaning the country has now seen more fatalities than China.

Italy has recorded a total of 3,405 deaths, compared to China's 3,245.

The number of fatalities announced on Thursday was lower than the record high of 475 fatalities on Wednesday -- the highest official one-day figure in the world.

The number of confirmed cases in Italy also jumped to 41,035 on Thursday, up from 35,713 in 24 hours.

China reported no new infections for the first time on Thursday.

It will take days or weeks before Italy sees the numbers of infected and deceased stop rising after it implemented quarantine measures, experts said on Wednesday.

Infections have started to rise in the south of the country, though the northern region of Lombardy remians by far the worst-hit part of the country - and Europe.

Lombardy alone has seen around two-thirds of all the deaths related to the outbreak.

A poll published in La Repubblica newspaper on Thursday found 96 percent of all Italians viewed the closure of most business and all schools and public institutions "positively" or "very positively" and just four percent said they were opposed.

While the measures are not as extreme as those taken in China's quarantine of Wuhan's Hubei province, they still seemed unimaginable for a Western democracy until this month.

"Use your common sense and act with utmost caution," Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told Italians on Thursday. "We are not underestimating anything and always acting based on the worst-case scenario."

Source: The Local, Italy


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