Coronavirus deaths in Italy rocket by 627 in biggest increase since outbreak
Coronavirus deaths in Italy has sky rocketed by 627 in what is the biggest day-to-day increase in the country's four-week battle against the pandemic.
Italy is the worst country in the world to be hit by COVID-19, claiming the lives of more than 4,000 people in the region.
The total number of infected people in the country also experienced a jump, increasing by 4,670 to 37,860.
Italy has enforced strict measures on its citizens that has seen more than 50,000 people charged with breaking enforced social isolation rules.
Despite this, mayors and governments throughout the country have been demanding event stricter measures, with Italy's national government expected to respond soon.
Italian authorities have said the outbreak that emerged in northern Italy four weeks ago could reach its peak in a matter of days and the number of new infections might start going down.
But civil protection chief Angelo Borrelli dismissed their certainty and said the country will "never know" when the peaks "will be" in advance.
Doctors in the European country have begged the UK government to go into lockdown or risk seeing “thousands die.”
Dr Lorenzo Grazioli, an anaesthetist at a Lombardy hospital, pleaded with other nations to “shut down to stop the outbreak”.
Dr Grazioli said: "What I would suggest is to just shut down to stop all the outbreak and not come into this situation that is very difficult to manage.
"I have never felt so stressed in my life. I am an insensitive, I am quite used to intense moments and choices.
"Where people will die without treatment and you make the difference.
"When you arrive at this point you realise that you are not enough.
"Maybe all 100 anaesthetists here are not enough."
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The Prime Minister has not enforced an Italy-style lockdown, but today announced all premises must close “as soon as they reasonably can” and must not open tomorrow.
Johnson said the new measures are just "enforcing" the advice already given to the public in an effort to reduce social contact by 75%, estimated to be what's necessary to lower transmission rates.
He said: "Licensing arrangements will make it relatively simply to do, should that be necessary," but added he believes most business owners will comply with the closures.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has also announced a new job retention scheme to help people who lose their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The scheme, in which the government will step in and pay up to 80% of people's wages from March 1, will be in place for three months but may be extended further.
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