Italy's coronavirus death toll shot up to 366 within a day as the country put 16 million people on lockdown

Italy's coronavirus death toll shot up to 366 within a day as the country put 16 million people on lockdown

italy coronavirus

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People wear face masks as they attend the live-broadcasting of Pope Francis' Sunday Angelus prayer during the Coronavirus emergency at Saint Peter's Square, on March 8, 2020 in Vatican City, Vatican


The death toll in Italy, the center of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Europe, shot up within one day, from 233 to 366, officials announced.

The 133 new deaths come alongside a spike in infections from 5,883 to 7,375.

The newly identified cases mark the country's status as having the largest number of infections outside China, where the virus originated. The second-largest center for infections is now South Korea, which has identified 7,313 cases as of March 8.

Italy issued an unprecedented response to the outbreak, announcing the lockdown of the country's Lombardy region, making up to 16 million people and 14 of the country's provinces subject to travel restrictions under new quarantine rules.


Law enforcement was deployed alongside the new restrictions to enforce the quarantine.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also announced the official closing of public spaces like schools, gyms, museums, nightclubs, and pools.

"We are facing an emergency, a national emergency," Conte said Sunday. "We have to limit the spread of the virus and prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed."

The shuttering of public places was similar to an announcement in neighboring France, where officials announced a ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people after the number of deaths rose from 11 to 19 over the weekend amid 1,126 total cases.

The virus has posed concern in countries around the world as more than 107,000 have been infected and at least 3,600 dead.


Though the highest death tolls have previously been identified in China, where the virus originated in December, the country identified its lowest number of new infections in a single day since January, which indicates the outbreak in the country is slowing.

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