In one day, 756 Italians have died from the coronavirus. In a sign of how bad things have become, that was a number to celebrate.
Italy’s death toll on Sunday represented the second successive fall in the daily rate, however, its total number of fatalities remains the highest of any country in the world, at 10,779.
On Friday, the country recorded 919 deaths, making it the largest number of fatalities recorded by Italy in a single day since the outbreak. This was followed by 889 deaths on Saturday. The toll dropped to 756 by the following day.
Italy’s Civil Protection Agency also noted that the rate of new infections had slowed, with an additional 5217 having caught the virus on Sunday – a smaller increase than Saturday’s 5994 new recorded cases.
Sunday’s figures showed an additional 646 people had recovered from the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing Italy’s total to 13,030.
But with close to 98,000 infections, Italy is by far battling one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks worldwide.
UK, US outbreaks worsen
As Britain struggles to get ahead of the coronavirus, with more than 19,700 infections and 1228 death recorded, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries said lockdown measures could be in place for six months.
Her warning came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote to 30 million households in Britain urging them to stick to strict rules to prevent the publicly funded National Health Service (NHS) from being overwhelmed by a surge in cases.
“We know things will get worse before they get better,” Mr Johnson said.
Britain has now placed a manufacturing order usually only seen in wartime as the nation rushes to bolster its defence against the virus.
Ford, Airbus and Rolls-Royce have been asked to make thousands of ventilators for use in the fight against the worsening pandemic – similar to how the UK repurposed industries in the World War II effort.
“This is an unprecedented step in peacetime,” said housing minister Robert Jenrick, adding that all parts of the country were now on an “emergency footing” as strategic co-ordination centres were established.
The number of tests being carried out has hit 10,000 a day, senior minister Michael Gove said.
Meanwhile, in the US, the virus has infected more than 135,000 people, making it the country with the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 infections.
The outbreak has become an uncontrollable burden, so much so that the government’s top infectious-disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci said the US will likely end up with millions of coronavirus cases.
Speaking to CNN, Dr Fauci also said the death toll in the US could top 100,000 but he was hesitant to make projections.