The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has leapt by 793 to 4,825, officials said on Saturday, an increase of 19.6 per cent — by far the largest daily rise in absolute terms since the contagion emerged a month ago.
On Thursday, Italy overtook China as the country to register most deaths from the highly contagious virus.
The total number of cases in Italy rose to 53,578 from a previous 47,021, an increase of 13.9 per cent, the Civil Protection Agency said.
The hardest-hit northern region of Lombardy remains in a critical situation, with 3,095 deaths and 25,515 cases.
Of those originally infected nationwide, 6,072 had fully recovered on Saturday compared to 5,129 the day before. There were 2,857 people in intensive care against a previous 2,655.
Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte said he is tightening the country’s lockdown, shutting down all production facilities except those that are “necessary, crucial, indispensable to guarantee essential goods” for the country. Conte said Italy is living through “its gravest crisis since World War II.”
Conte said while it’s not easy to renounce habits, that sacrifice pales in comparison to the sacrifices made by other citizens, ranging from doctors and nurses to supermarket clerks and security forces.
Local authorities in Italy’s northern regions have been pleading with the national government to enact ever stricter measures. The most hard-hit region, Lombardy, accounts for more than 60 per cent of Italy’s rapidly surging death toll.