MAJOR: Italy’s Coronavirus Toll OVERTAKES China, France Reports A Major Spike in Deaths as Total Rises to 372, While Total Cases in Europe Pass 100,000


ROME/PARIS – Health officials in Italy confirmed a further 427 deaths from the deadly Covid-19, pushing the country’s overall death toll to 3,405. The figure overtakes the number of total deaths in China from the start of the outbreak. According to a tally compiled by the AFP, the overall number of cases across Europe has now risen over 100,000. 

The latest deaths in Italy are a slight decrease in comparison to the previous 24-hour period, in which a record 475 people died in one day from the rapidly-spreading virus. The outbreak was first recorded in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, and has since spread around the world at an alarming rate, infecting over 236,000 people and causing more than 9,800 deaths. Of those deaths, 3,245 were recorded in China.

The Italian army has been called in to help transport dead bodies in Bergamo as the wider Lombardy region continues to struggle with the impact of the deadly virus. On Thursday, carmakers Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler began talks with the country’s main ventilator manufacturer to help turn out the urgently-needed machines and boost the medical system overburdened by the scale of seriously ill Covid-19 patients.

The novel coronavirus strain can cause serious respiratory problems, even in younger patients. French health authorities revealed 108 new deaths from coronavirus on Thursday, taking the total to 372 or an increase of almost 41%, the toll rising sharply yet again as the country was in its third day of a lockdown aimed at containing the outbreak.

During a press conference, Health Agency Director Jerome Salomon added the number of cases had risen to 10,995, up from 9,134 on Tuesday, which is a rise of 20% in 24 hours, France 24 reported. Salomon said 1,122 people were in a serious condition, needing life support, up 20.5% compared to Wednesday. It’s estimated France has 5,000 beds ready for the patients, but these are unevenly spread around the country.

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