The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Italy has leapt by 627 to 4,032 in the last 24 hours.
The increase of 18.4% means Italy overtook China as the nation to register the most deaths from the killer bug since it arrived in the European country a month ago.
Until Friday, Italy had never recorded more than 475 deaths in a single day, while China, where Covid-19 emerged at the end of 2019, never reported a daily death toll of more than 150.
The total number of cases in Italy rose to 47,021 from a previous 41,035, an increase of 14.6%, the Civil Protection Agency said.
The hardest-hit northern region of Lombardy remains in a critical state, with 2,549 deaths and 22,264 cases.
Have you been affected by the coronavirus outbreak? Email [email protected]
The number of people who died from coronavirus in Italy has increased by 627 to 4,032
(Image: Sky News)
Shocking footage from inside hospitals shows patients stricken by the bug laid up in corridors and waiting rooms.
The army have been drafted in to transport the bodies to crematoriums outside the area as local facilities simply cannot cope.
With the Bergamo hospital’s ICU completely full, medics – who are reportedly calling it ‘the Apocalypse’ – are seen dashing between patients amid the screech of air escaping tubes and alarms beeping trying to keep the infected alive.
Patients gasp for air in plastic bubble helmets in Bergamo hospital as death rate soars
(Image: Sky News)
The bubbles, which cover the entire head and cause staff great communication difficulties, attempt to equalise the air pressure in the lungs.
Of those originally infected 5,129 had fully recovered on Friday compared to 4,440 the day before.
There were 2,655 people in intensive care against a previous 2,498.
The news comes as a British nurse in Italy has given a harrowing account of patients dying in staggering numbers.
Patients are being treated as “numbers” because so many are coming in to overwhelmed hospitals in the new epicentre of the pandemic, according to Connor McAinsh.
Hospital employees in Italy wearing a protection mask and gear
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Speaking after completing a night shift, exhausted Mr McAinsh, who works at the Gavazzeni Hospital in Bergamo, which is only treating Covid-19 patients, said an “endless stream of people” has been arriving.
As soon as one patient dies and is removed from the ward, they are immediately replaced with another one fighting for their life, he said, and burials are happening every 30 minutes in a local
Mr McAnish told ITV News: “The rate of deaths going up so high, as soon as there was a death or that we could transfer a patient from our hospital to one of the first hospitals that was taking people with infectious diseases because they had wards for that, immediately we would take in new patients.
“It’s just an endless stream of people coming in and as soon as we have a bed, we have a new patient coming in who needs critical care.cemetery.
“So it’s much less personal, there’s less of a one to one relationship with our patients now, they’ve just become, you know, numbers.”
Tonight Boris Johnson announced social venues such as pubs, clubs, restaurants and theatres would be closed from tonight with fears the UK could be in a similar situation to Italy in a matter of week.