Italy coronavirus deaths slow down, cases leap by over 1,200

Tourists wearing respiratory masks visit the Coliseum in Rome on March 6, 2020. (AFP)

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy slowed down on Saturday but the total number of cases in the country leapt by over 1,200, the Civil Protection Agency said.

Deaths due to the infectious virus were up 36 to 233, the head of the agency, Angelo Borrelli, said in a news conference. They were up 49 on Friday, in the biggest rise since the outbreak of the illness in Italy.

The total number of cases in the country was up to 5,883 compared to 4,636 announced on Friday, showing that contagion shows no sign of slowing down.

Borrelli added that of those originally infected, 589 had fully recovered while 567 were being treated in intensive care.

The contagion came to light over two weeks ago and is focused on a handful of hotspots in the north of Italy, but cases have now been confirmed in each of the country’s 20 regions, with deaths recorded in eight of them.

On Saturday, Shanghai increased airport screening as imported coronavirus infections from countries such as Italy and Iran emerge as the biggest source of new cases in China outside Hubei, the province where the outbreak originated.

The world economy is paying the price as the stock market crashes. Last week, US stock markets fell by the highest amount since the 2008 financial crisis.

Even countries who have so far escaped the worst are considering radical – and disruptive – measures.

In the UK, the chief medical officer is forecasting “widespread transmission,” while UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the army is “ready” to support police in maintaining public order.

(With Reuters)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:06 - GMT 11:06
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