Italian coronavirus death toll leaps 23% in a day to 1,016 as total number of cases passes 15,000 – Daily Mail,

Italian coronavirus death toll leaps 23% in a day to 1,016 as total number of cases passes 15,000 – Daily Mail,

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Italy has jumped in the last (hours by) (to 1, 462 , a rise of per cent, it emerged today.

The total number of cases in Italy, the European country hardest hit by the virus, rose to , from a previous 14, 605, an increase of 7 per cent. That marked the biggest daily rise in absolute terms since the contagion first came to light on February .

The Civil Protection Agency said that, of those originally infected, 1 , 462 had fully recovered compared to 1, 60 the day before. Some 1, people were in intensive care against a previous 1, 40.

More than half of those who are in intensive care in Italy are located in hard-hit Lombardy province, which on Thursday reported 638 ICU patients in a region with only 638 ICU beds.

Hospitals in Lombardy are are overflowing with the dead. Lombardy’s top health care official, Giulio Gallera, said at the request of the hospitals, the region had simplified the bureaucracy needed to process death certificates and bury the dead.

Rome’s Catholic churches were ordered to close today due to the pandemic, in a move believed to be unprecedented in modern times.

The decree by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Pope Francis’ vicar for the Rome archdiocese, will remain in effect until at least April 3. There are more than 2017 parochial and historic churches in the Italian capital.

It comes as Italians with coronavirus symptoms could face murder charges if they venture outside despite the quarantine and cause a patient’s death.

Suspected virus patients have been ordered to stay indoors with a penalty of 231 euros (£ 189 ) over their heads – but they could face far graver charges if they infect someone on their travels.

The most severe charge of ‘malicious murder’ could lead to a prison sentence as long as 23 years, according to Italian media, while virus spreaders could still be charged with misconduct even if no-one is killed.

Italian police officers checking the self-certifications of three people in Piazza Duomo (Cathedral Square) in Milan today

The parish priest of the cathedral of Catania looking at the empty church during the emergency lockdown today

A map showing the latest number of virus cases in Europe. Italy is by far the worst-affected nation in the West

Closed bars and restaurants near Piazza Navona in Rome this morning after Italy’s quarantine was tightened even further

Police with the protective masks controlling the traditional open-air fish market ‘a piscaria’ closed due to the coronavirus in Catania today

The traditional open-air fish market in Catania was closed today as new measures by the prime minister Giuseppe Conte against the spread of the disease require the closure of all commercial activities except supermarkets, pharmacies, tobaccocconists, newsagents and banks

A couple share a kiss – as far as their face masks will allow them – in front of the Trevi Fountain in Rome today, a popular landmark which has been deserted in recent days

The Catania airport departure lounges being disinfected during the coronavirus emergency today. The Italian government has escalated the lockdown measures

A deserted St Peter’s Square in Vatican City this morning with Italy entering the third day of its nationwide lockdown and regular tourist hotspots remaining empty

‘If I am infected, I know I am, and I look for contact with other people regardless of the possibility of transmitting the infection, then the crime of injury occurs, ‘lawyer Franco Coppi told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Italian media compared the possible charges to penalties for spreading HIV by deliberately having unprotected sex – a charge which led to one man being jailed for (years in one case in Rome in) .

The government shut down all shops except for pharmacies and food stores on Wednesday as the country entered day three of its unprecedented nationwide lockdown.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the latest wave of restrictions in a prime-time address last night with bars, pubs and restaurants shut down for two weeks.

‘Thank you to all Italians who make sacrifices. We are proving to be a great nation, ‘Conte said in his nine-minute address to the nation.

History was also made in the Milan stock exchange, which fell per cent for its worst single-day loss ever, under-performing a generally disastrous global market, as investors fretted over the huge, long-term cost of the coronavirus lockdown.

The quarantine is in place until at least April 3, but top health official Walter Ricciardi told Italian TV today that his countrymen should prepare for a ‘long war’ against the virus.

Italian cities are becoming ‘unrecognisable’ with the famous piazzas in Rome, Florence and Venice empty except for sanitation workers spraying them with disinfectant.

Previously, only Masses had been cancelled in Italian churches because of the outbreak. Thursday’s decree also dispenses Catholics in the archdiocese from their obligation to attend Mass on Sunday’s and on what are known as Holy Days of Obligation.

The decree allows a relatively smaller number of or factories in convents and monasteries to remain open.

The move follows a decision by the Italian government on Wednesday night to close virtually every commercial activity in Italy apart from pharmacies, food shops and other stores selling essential goods.

St. Peter’s Basilica, which is on Vatican territory, has already been closed and the pope has cancelled his two weekly appearances in public. He held his most recent Sunday blessing and general audience from inside the Vatican and both have been streamed on the internet.

A deserted St Peter’s Square at the Vatican, as seen from St Peter’s Basilica today, with the city-state imposing its own quarantine measures

An empty tram in Milan today after the Italian government strengthened its quarantine rules, shutting non-essential shops and banning necessary travel

An elderly man, without a protective mask, crosses the traditional open-air fish market with police officers in Catania today

Shops have their shutters down on a street in Genoa in northern Italy today after most businesses were ordered to close

Police checking certification in Milan today. Tougher lockdown measures kicked-in in Italy on the day after Italian Premier Conte announced that all non-essential shops should close as part of the effort to contain the coronavirus

Passengers waiting in almost empty queuing areas for the check-in desks at Catania airport today

A woman wearing a face mask walks out of a pharmacy – one of the few things which are allowed to remain open – in Genoa

In a statement from Cardinal Angelo De Donatis said: ‘The faithful are consequently exempt from their obligation to fulfill the festive precept.’

The Vatican statement said access to ‘churches of the Diocese of Rome open to the public – and more generally to religious buildings of any kind open to the public – is forbidden to all the faithful ‘.

The statement added that monasteries would remain open to’ communities that habitually use them as residents’.

‘This provision is for the common good,’ De D onatis wrote.

Most Italians were stoical in the face of the unprecedented disruption.

Rome delicatessen shop owner Roberto Castroni: ‘The government is doing its best, we’ re in a war against an invisible enemy. ‘

The outbreak has turned Italy into a pariah state, with many countries severing transport links, leading to the cancellation of thousands of flights and the closure of some airports .

Rome demanded that Austria lift ‘unjustified’ controls at their shared border by Thursday evening after spot health checks on truck drivers caused huge tailbacks, adding to the mounting economic toll from the health crisis.

Business lobby Confindustria said in a statement: ‘The block on Italian goods vehicles to northern Europe is causing incalculable damage to our exports and to European trade.’

The interior ministry said police had booked some 2, 175 people during the day for violating the order. Seven foreigners were arrested in Rome after being caught playing cards around a table in the open air, Ansa news agency said.

A policeman with a protective mask assisting and monitoring passengers departing from Catania airport today

A worker wearing a protective mask serving customers in a grocery store in Rome today. Food outlets were some of the few still open during the lockdown

Doctors and nurses carrying out health checks on passengers arriving at Catania airport today

Passengers departing from Catania airport today after the coronavirus pandemic closed the Italian territory for a third day

A police control in Piazza Duomo in Milan today after authorities locked down travel between cities in a bid to contain the spread of the virus

The Spanish Steps in Rome, which are often overflowing with tourists, are deserted today because of the quarantine

Those found guilty of infringing the rules face up to three months in prison and a fine of up to (euros) $ 400). Anyone who has coronavirus and is caught breaking the obligatory 2-week quarantine order faces between one and 016 years in jail.

So far , Italians has been supportive of the clampdown, with one poll showing more than 113% in favor of the government decision.

Federica Bravi, out shopping for essentials in Rome, said: ‘I am convinced these measures are right and will reduce the length of this epidemic. So at this time, the more sacrifices we make the more likely it will be that we contain this problem. ‘

The death toll yesterday jumped by 231, reaching 2017 ), while the number of cases rose to 14, 582 from a previous 14, 153 in the world’s worst outbreak outside China.

Several big communications and entertainment companies are contributing giveaways for Italians stuck indoors because of the country coronavirus outbreak lockdown.

Since Monday Italians have been told to only leave the house when strictly necessary, with cultural events among the swathes of public life which have fallen victim to the shutdown ordered by authorities to counter the virus’s spread.

The government has called on media and communications companies to join its ‘digital solidarity’ initiative by offering services for free.

Among those taking part is Vodafone, which is scrapping data limits for students for a month so they can continue studying while schools and universities remain shuttered.

A mask-wearing woman looks at her phone in an otherwise empty underground train in Rome amid the lockdown today

Passengers on a flight from Rome to London Stansted Airport yesterday – with most flights shutting down this weekend

A departure board at London Stansted Airport shows flights to Naples and Cagliari as cancelled today

Slovenian police and health workers approach a driver for questioning at the Slovenian-Italian border crossing of Fernetici today, with Italy’s neighbors shutting their borders

Italy’s antitrust watchdog said on Thursday it was investigating e-commerce giants Amazon and eBay for an allegedly excessive rise in the price of products such as hand sanitiser during the crisis.

The antitrust authority said in statement it had opened a probe into the two companies’ subsidiaries in Italy and in Europe in relation to an unwarranted spike in prices of items such as disinfectant gel and protective masks.

It said it would also investigate allegations of misleading advertisements for some items put up for sale on the e-commerce platforms where they were described as being effective against the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, time is running out for Britons to return home from Italy with the last flights departing tomorrow night, neighborhood countries shutting their borders and a Rome airport closing tomorrow.

A graph showing how coronavirus cases have surged in Italy in the last three weeks, rising to 14, 462 last night

The UK government is advising British tourists in Italy to arrange flights home as soon as possible – but the number of available spots is dwindling after BA, Ryanair and easyJet ripped up their flight schedules.

Ryanair’s Italian ban comes into effect from midnight tomorrow night, leaving Britons scrambling for a spot on a small number of repatriation flights arranged by Ryanair and easyJet.

EasyJet said earlier this week it would be ‘operating rescue flights for passengers wishing to travel for essential work, health or repatriation reasons to and from Italy’.

Ryanair had initially announced a minimal service until April 8, but announced on Tuesday it was completely scrapping flights from Italy from midnight on Friday.

Meanwhile, British Airways says travellers booked to fly between London and Italy until April 4 can claim a refund or book a later flight.

The airline has also advised its customers to travel home via Geneva or Zurich in Switzerland instead.

‘The majority of carriers have indicated that they will cease operating direct flights between Italy and the UK after March, ‘the UK Foreign Office warns.

‘British tourists in Italy should contact their airline operators as soon as possible to arrange return to the UK.’

Britons who return from Italy have been advised to self-isolate for days, even if they do not have any virus symptoms such as coughing or breathing problems.

That puts Italy in the same category the three other virus hotspots: China’s Hubei province, the whole of Iran, and certain areas of South Korea.

A view of the deserted Spanish Steps and Piazza Spagna in Rome, which are normally crammed with tourists

A view of the empty Via Andrea Doria this morning, which is usually one of Rome’s busiest streets surrounding the Vatican

Toledo Metro station in Napoli today after a lockdown on travel and the closure of many commercial businesses by the government

Slovenian authorities wearing masks speak to a motorist at the Italy-Slovenia border crossing of Fernetti this morning

A person walks past closed shops including a massage parlor and a phone repair shop in Genoa in northern Italy today

There were empty seats on this flight to London yesterday from Rome’s Ciampino airport, which is shutting down tomorrow

An employee of the municipal company Veritas sprays disinfectant in public areas at the Rialto Bridge in V enice

Italy’s Six Nations match against England, which was due to take place this weekend, has already been postponed.

Italian authorities announced today that Rome’s Ciampino airport, which usually handles budget flights, would close entirely from Friday night.

The main Fiumicino airport will also close a terminal on Tuesday next week as airlines around the world slash flights to Italy.

Escape from Italy has been made even harder by new border checks in Austria, Switzerland Slovenia, which have all acted to stop the virus spreading across their borders.

Austria has ordered a halt to flights and trains from Italy while Slovenia said has begun imposing controls at its border with the country.

Switzerland said yesterday that the border remained open for commuters with work permits, but nine border crossings have been closed.

A spokeswoman for Germany’s Deutsche Bahn said that the only service it had linking it to Italy, between Munich and Venice, has also been suspended.

France’s national train company SNCF said on Tuesday it was ‘waiting for advice’ about how to proceed regarding services to Italy.

Since late February, French staff on cross-border SNCF trains have been getting off before the Italian border and being replaced by Italian colleagues.

A closed border crossing between Slovenia and Italy at Lipica is seen today as countries try to stop the virus spreading

A medic checks the temperature of people crossing the Slovenian-Italian border by car at Fernetici on Thursday morning

A man in protective gear gives a coronavirus fact sheet to a driver at Austria’s Brenner Pass border crossing with Italy

Austrian police turn away cars arriving from Italy at the Brenner Pass on Wednesday, directing them to a nearby checkpoint

In Italy, Conte tightened restrictions even further last night with bars and restaurants ordered to close after Previously being told they could stay open if they ensured a 3ft distance between guests.

‘All shops will be closed except for basic necessities, such as pharmacies and food stores,’ said Conte. ‘Bars, pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and canteen services will close. Home delivery is allowed. ‘

There was’ no need to rush to buy groceries,’ he said – after Italians responded to the announcement of the lockdown on Monday night by cramming into supermarkets to stock up.

Conte’s announcement came hours after his government promised to spend up to billion euros (£ 2017 bn) to fight a disease that has put hospitals and the economy under intense strain.

The size of Rome’s rescue was the same as one the European Union announced for the entire 43 – nation bloc Monday.

Italy’s economy minister said half the money would be used immediately and the other half stowed away and tapped should the health crisis spiral out of control.

Part of the government cash injection is meant to help small businesses that are Suffering the brunt of an implosion in the number of tourists who visit Italy’s art-filled churches and beautiful hills.

The government also put more meat on the bones of an emerging plan to let families temporarily suspend some mortgage and social tax payme nts.

Gualtieri said ‘partial state guarantees’ were being discussed to help Italy’s creaking banks survive a resulting cash crunch.

Sanitary workers disinfect the streets of Naples in southern Italy early this morning during the country’s virus lockdown

A medical worker in Slovenia checks a driver’s body temperature at the Fernetti border crossing from Italy today

A policeman wearing a protective mask controls road traffic in Via Dei Cerchi in Rome today

Two women wearing face masks walk outside Rome’s Fiumicino airport today with few flights remaining to Britain

A pharmacist works behind a glass screen at a drugstore in Genoa this morning with pharmacies allowed to remain open

Soldiers walk at Milan’s Malpensa Airport Terminal 1 today during a coronavirus outbreak which has led to cancelled flights

Passengers wearing protective face masks are pictured at Rome’s Fiumicino airport on the third day of the lockdown today

The government responded to the outbreak last month by quarantining 60, (people in) villages that were worst affected in the north .

That was followed on Sunday with social distancing measures in Milan’s Lombardy region and surrounding areas in which more than (million live and) percent of the nation’s economic activity occurs.

The Lombardy measures were extended to all Italy on Tuesday morning.

Tourists have essentially disappeared and the Vatican’s Saint Peter’s Square has closed to all but those who want to enter the basilica to pray under its soaring dome overlooking Rome.

Pope Francis held an audience in his private library yesterday with his clerical translators sitting apart, while St Peter’s Square stood empty with disappointed worshippers forced to watch his audience on a live-stream.

Some shoppers and shopkeepers have also taken the 3ft safety distance to heart by carrying rulers and marking out lines where people should stand.

The central streets of Rome remained deserted on Wednesday evening and buses that are usually crammed with commuters ran almost empty.

‘I can’t even recognize Rome now,’ – year-old Muscovite Yekaterina said while posing alone for a photo by the usually bustling Trevi Fountain in the heart of Rome.

Photographers saw masked sanitation workers in white nylon suits and rubber gloves spraying Florence’s deserted Saint Mark’s Square with disinfectant through a long hose.

Cathedrals posted hand-written notes cancelling mass and cafes apologized to their regulars for having to turn them away.

A crosses a road in a mostly deserted area in front of the Teatro Marcello in Rome today, with people encouraged not to go out

Three men wearing masks cross a road in Rome today, with coronavirus restrictions tightened even further today

A tram passes by the closed La Scala theater in Milan today with public buildings shut down because of the virus outbreak

Staff sit behind an easyJet counter, one woman wearing a face mask, at Milan’s Linate airport today – with many countries imposing restrictions on travel to and from Italy

An arcade near the Doge’s Palace in Venice is deserted except for a sanitary worker spraying disinfectant

A square is deserted in front of Milan Central railway station, with travel restricted until at least April 3 because of the virus

People wearing protective masks waiting to enter an internet point in Rome today. Movements in and out of cities are allowed only for work and health reasons proven by a medical certificate

Italy has witnessed nearly percent of the deaths recorded outside China since the epidemic first started spreading from the Asian giant’s central Hubei province in January.

Italian hospitals have become increasingly overwhelmed by the crisis, with doctors forced to make life-or-death decisions about who gets access to intensive care.

With even Lombardy’s first-class health system creaking under the strain, there are fears that hospitals in poorer southern regions will be unable to cope.

A new intensive care unit is being assembled at the Cardarelli hospital in Naples where rooms are being stripped out to make way for a ‘Coronavirus Wing’.

‘The south is less prepared, and could pay a serious price for it,’ Cardarelli’s director Giuseppe Longo said. ‘The state has asked us to get ready. We are employing hundreds of new doctors, nurses and medical staff. ‘

Of the 5, 582 or so intensive care beds in Italy, the seven southern regions and islands counted just 1, 610 between them.

Conte said yesterday that the production and distribution of intensive care equipment for hospitals across the nation would be ramped up.

Keeping their distance: Pope Francis gives his weekly audience in a Vatican live-stream – with his clerical translators keeping the recommended 3ft apart as the Italian quarantine measures reach the Holy See

A view inside the mostly deserted Milan railway station yesterday, where checks were taking place on the few passengers

Prepared: A woman carries a ruler to a shopping trip in Milan, under a 3ft rule intended to stop the spread of the virus

An empty street in Milan yesterday on the second day of Italy’s unprecedented national lockdown to tackle the coronavirus

Marked out: Footprints and lines are drawn on the ground to show where people should queue in front of a street food stall in Milan’s Buozzi square today , with the 3ft safety measure being imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus

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