Italy deaths rise by 683 in a day, as more than 3 billion told to stay home worldwide over Covid-19

25 March 2020 - 19:51 By Reuters and AFP
The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has grown by 683 to 7,503.
The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has grown by 683 to 7,503.
Image: Jozef Polc/

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has grown by 683 to 7,503, the Civil Protection Agency said on Wednesday, a decline in the daily tally of fatalities following a spike the day before.

On Tuesday 743 people died. That followed 602 deaths on Monday, 650 on Sunday and a record of 793 on Saturday -- the highest daily figure since the contagion came to light on Feb. 21.

The total number of confirmed cases in Italy rose to 74,386 from a previous 69,176, the Civil Protection Agency said.

The head of the agency, Angelo Borrelli, was not present at the customary news conference to illustrate the data because he came down with a fever on Wednesday and was himself being tested for coronavirus.

Of those originally infected nationwide, 9,362 had fully recovered on Wednesday compared to 8,326 the day before. There were 3,489 people in intensive care against a previous 3,396.

The hardest-hit northern region of Lombardy reported a sharp fall in the number of deaths compared with the day before, but remained in a critical situation, with a total of 4,474 deaths and 32,346 cases.

That compared with 4,178 deaths and 30,703 cases reported up to Tuesday.

More than three billion people have been asked to stay at home in almost 70 countries and territories as governments battle the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, according to an AFP tally on Wednesday.

Most of the countries concerned, including Argentina, Britain, France, India and Italy as well as many US states, have imposed mandatory lockdown measures. Others have introduced curfews, quarantines and other social distancing recommendations.

Panama was on Wednesday the latest to join the list of countries opting for a lockdown. South Africa, meanwhile, will begin a 21-day lockdown from Thursday.

In most countries it is still possible to go out to work, buy provisions and seek medical attention.

At least seven countries or territories, covering 416 million people, and including Iran, Germany and Canada, however have called on their population to stay at home while not making home confinement mandatory.

Russia was the latest to make such recommendations with President Vladimir Putin declaring next week a non-working week.

At least 18 countries or territories, home to more than 300 million people, including Chile, Egypt, Ivory Coast and Serbia have put in place curfews.

The most severe curfew has been introduced in Ecuador where people must remain at home between 5 am and 2pm daily.

At least five countries have quarantined large cities with people prevented from entering and leaving.

Cities affected include Kinshasa, Riyadh and Baku, the capitals of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan respectively.