Italy Reports Over 600 Coronavirus Deaths In One Day, Calls for Tighter Lockdown

Medical personnel transport the first patient affected by COVID-19 to an ICU tent
Emanuele Cremaschi / Getty Images

Italy’s coronavirus death toll hit more than 600 deaths in just one day, Fox News reports. With Italy being one of the most affected countries in the world, government officials had imposed a nationwide lockdown since the second week of March, but with hundreds dying daily, Rome has called for a tighter lockdown.

As of Friday, March 20, Italy has a total of 4,032 recorded deaths — making it the country with the most coronavirus deaths, surpassing China. Also, there are 4,670 new cases, making it a total of 47,021 infected individuals.

The country’s mortality rate has been shocking, but one official suggested that most of the people who are greatly affected by this disease had underlying conditions, and when infected by COVID-19, their immune system couldn’t simply take it, making them very vulnerable to the novel coronavirus.

Patients in other countries, those with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, lung disease, and diabetes, may not have been included in the COVID-19 death toll, the official speculated.

With the number of deaths at an all-time high, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has decided for stricter lockdown measures. The government called in the Italian army to help enforce the restrictions, as reported by Fortune. Soldiers have already been deployed in the regions of Sicily and Calabria.

The government is also thinking of extending bans on nonessential activities until early May. Schools, on the other hand, will remain closed, with most of the students doing online classes, as well as the closing of walking paths all over Italy. Residents are only allowed to leave their homes for “work, health reasons, or for emergencies.”

On March 12, it was reported that the number of deaths in Italy was at 189; a shocking number at the time. Since then, Conte had decided to close most of the shops in the country except supermarkets and pharmacies, with each posting new closing times. After a recent surge of deaths, the government has also decided to close supermarkets on Sundays.

“Bars, pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, and canteen services will close. Home delivery is allowed,” Conte mentioned in a speech. “Thank you to all Italians who make sacrifices. We are proving to be a great nation.”

According to the same report, the administration has planned to fund up to 25 billion euros ($27.9 billion USD) to fight the deadly disease. The plan stated that half of the amount would be put to immediate use, while the remaining balance will be saved until needed, Italy’s economy minister Roberto Gualtieri said.