Coronavirus: Italy records another 651 deaths

Clay Curtis
March 23, 2020

To date, Italy accounts for 40% of all deaths recorded by the pandemic that is plaguing the globe.

On Thursday, Italy overtook China as the country to register most deaths from the highly contagious virus.

The majority of the new infections are connected to a previous cluster of cases from a boxing stadium, Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a Public Health Ministry spokesman, told a news conference adding one patient had recovered. The number of coronavirus patients in Pakistan has now reached 534, Health Minister Zafar Mirza said.

"We are going to be celebrating a great victory in the not too distant future", he said, although he also continued to lash out at what he described as "inaccurate" reporting of his government's handling of the crisis.

Italy's failure to reduce its huge debt of 134% of gross domestic product would normally have drawn a rebuke from the European Union executive, but von der Leyen said there were now other priorities.

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Italy's National Health Institute chief Silvio Brusaferro urged the elderly to stay indoors. Earlier this month, top Chinese respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan noted that although China was the first to report the pathogen, it was not yet certain where it actually came from. Joggers were asked to limit their runs to laps around the block.

"It is the most hard crisis in our post-war period", Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a video posted on Facebook, adding "only production activities deemed vital for national production will be allowed".

According to the Guardian, people were fined if they were seen to be in parks or taking pictures of the historical monuments with nobody in sight. In total, there are 81,600 infected in China and the death toll is 3276.

Every day at 18.00 local time, the authorities give an update on the figures from the last 24 hours in the Peninsula.

Across the Atlantic, the number of cases in the United States has now exceeded 22,000 with more than 270 deaths. In Argentina, the government is considering declaring a "state of siege", the security minister said, in order to enforce its nationwide lockdown.

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