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17 Mar, 2020 22:54

Italy’s coronavirus death toll soars past 2,500 after week in full lockdown

Italy’s coronavirus death toll soars past 2,500 after week in full lockdown

Fatalities in Italy’s coronavirus outbreak have surpassed 2,500, while the number of Covid-19 cases in the country have far exceeded those remaining in China – where the epidemic began – with more than 31,000 active infections.

With a spike of 345 new deaths in the last 24 hours, Tuesday was among Italy’s most deadly in the Covid-19 outbreak gripping much of the Mediterranean nation, bringing the death toll to 2,503, out of a total 31,506 confirmed cases.

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Since the contagion was first observed in Italy in late February, the country has quickly become Europe’s hardest-hit coronavirus hotspot, with a rapidly escalating disease toll and a fatality rate exceeding most other affected nations. The explosion in cases and deaths triggered a nationwide lockdown last week, placing 60 million citizens under strict travel restrictions and shuttering most businesses across the country.

China, meanwhile, has perhaps seen the worst of its bout with the fast-spreading illness, with just over 9,000 active cases remaining, according to the official tally – largely clustered around the viral epicenter of Wuhan – after more than 68,000 recoveries and 3,200 deaths since the outbreak began late last year. To date, the virus has spread to over 196,000 people worldwide, killing more than 7,800.

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