Italy has experienced its worst day yet in the country’s devastating coronavirus epidemic, with 919 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours – the highest single-day total since the pandemic began.
The highest-ever single-day spike in fatalities brought Italy’s death toll to 9,134, a number that has long since surpassed the outbreak’s original epicenter in China. Italy had 86,498 confirmed cases as of Friday, also exceeding China’s numbers as Beijing has seen new infections all but flatline.
While single-day deaths in the country had been on the decline for several days, Friday’s numbers show Italy is not yet on the mend with regard to the devastating epidemic that has overwhelmed hospitals, triggered nationwide quarantines, and exhausted national resources.
Italy is now second only to the US in terms of total number of coronavirus cases, though it has far outstripped it in terms of fatalities. Not all is bleak – 10,950 Italian coronavirus patients had fully recovered as of Friday – but the strain on the nation’s health system continues to take its toll.
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Italy’s outbreak began in the northern region of Lombardy, which remains the hardest-hit by the epidemic and had experienced 5,402 deaths as of Friday. The nation’s difficulties have been compounded by a slow response from the EU, forcing the Italian government to look further afield for aid as even its fellow European nations closed their borders and kept their resources for themselves.
While the fatality rate in Italy has outstripped that of any other country, hovering around a terrifying 10 percent, researchers have tried to mitigate panic by pointing to the fact that nearly all of the deaths from the coronavirus had underlying pathologies.
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