Number of deaths, confirmed cases in Italy soars again on Friday, as Europe becomes new epicenter of pandemic
The death toll from the novel coronavirus outbreak in Italy continues to be on the rise, reaching 1,266 after recording the highest leap in a single day on Friday.
According to the latest figures provided by the Italian Civil Protection Department, 250 more people died of disease in the last 24 hours.
The total number of cases currently confirmed in the country has risen to 14,955, it said.
The Italian government hopes that stricter containment measures — including an almost total lockdown of shops, bars, and other commercial activities — will help contain and stop the virus spread, which has now its epicenter in Europe, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Since originating in Wuhan, China, last December, the coronavirus has spread globally, becoming a pandemic.
More than 132,500 coronavirus cases have been reported in 123 countries and territories, with almost 5,000 people losing their lives.
The Italian government is working on a package of economic measures up to €12 billion ($13.2 billion), aimed at helping families and businesses to cope with the heavy fallout from the virus epidemic.
Italy’s moribund economy faces a new recession this year and the negative impact of the coronavirus outbreak — the worst in Europe — could hit the country’s activities even harder.
The European Commission on Friday indicated it is open to concede Italy all the financial flexibility needed to face such an exceptional scenario.