Coronavirus: Italy death toll surges to 743

Clay Curtis
March 25, 2020

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, with 1.3 billion people going into lockdown from midnight on Tuesday.

Italy has reported total confirmed cases of 69,176 while its death toll stands at 6,820 while 8,326 patients have been recovered so far. That compared with 3,776 deaths and 28,761 cases reported up to Monday.

6,600 new cases of Covid-19 were also recorded.

The number of coronavirus cases in Italy is probably 10 times higher than the official tally, the head of the agency collating the data said on Tuesday as the government readied new measures to force people to stay at home.

The number of recoveries had also increased, with 408 more people cured by Monday, reaching a total of 7,432.

"It is credible to estimate that there are 10 positive cases for every one officially reported", Angelo Borrelli, the head of the national Civil Protection Agency, told Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Underscoring the problem, the regional governor of Veneto, Luca Zaia, ordered the confiscation of ventilators at veterinary surgeries, saying they could be converted to human use.

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Experts urged that anosmia should be added to the list of symptoms found in screening tools for possible COVID-19. That will allow them to compare both groups and understand whether anosmia is truly a core coronavirus symptom.

While the number of deaths in Italy are starting to decrease - there were 146 less between Sunday and Monday - the number of deaths is still staggering, with 649 on Monday. There were 3,204 people in intensive care against a previous 3,009.

The lockdown will stay in place till April 3.

A decree issued on Tuesday gave the government the power to extend the deadline to July 31.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs forecast on Tuesday that the Italian economy, already teetering on recession before the outbreak hit, would shrink by more than 11 per cent this year.

However, there has been pushback as workers in the metal, chemical, textile, rubber-plastic and paper industries plan to go on strike on Wednesday.

Around the world, the coronavirus outbreak has killed almost 19,000 lives and sickened over 4 lakh people.

The outbreak began in China's Wuhan city in December past year.

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