The 969 new deaths bring Italy’s death toll from 8,165 to 9,134, up 11.9 per cent
The total number of infections rose by 5,959, taking total from 80,539 to 86,948
It puts Italy in an unwanted lead over China which has registered 81,897 cases
Italy’s coronavirus death toll surged by 969 today, its biggest one-day increase yet, while the total number of cases is now higher than in China.
The hundreds of new deaths bring the total from 8,165 to 9,134, an increase of 11.9 per cent since yesterday.
Meanwhile Italy’s total infection count rose by 5,959, bringing the total from 80,539 to 86,948.
The figures mean that Italy has overtaken China which has racked up 81,897 cases. The United States has the highest tally in the world with 86,012.
The head of Italy’s national health institute warned today that ‘we haven’t reached the peak and we haven’t passed it’.
Italy’s national lockdown is already in its third week but school closures and a ban on non-essential activities are likely to be extended beyond April 3.
The world also passed another grim landmark today as the global death toll reached 25,000, the majority of them in Europe.
China still had a majority of world infections and deaths as recently as March 15, according to World Health Organisation figures.
In the 12 days since then, its proportion of global deaths has fallen from 56 per cent to 13 per cent.
Cases have continued to surge in Italy despite a national lockdown which is now in its third week.
The government in Rome has progressively tightened the rules, banning all non-essential activities until at least next Friday.
Franco Locatelli, who heads the council which advises the government on health matters, told reporters this deadline would need extending.
‘If I had to decide using today’s data, I believe it is inevitable these measures will be prolonged,’ he said.