A poignant picture shows two Italian newlyweds sharing their first kiss as a married couple through surgical face masks.
Diego Fernandes , 46 and Deni Salgado, 30, tied the knot in a modest ceremony in Naples today in a country ravaged by the coronavirus crisis.
The couple, who were photographed at the altar, were undeterred from celebrating their special day.
But they sadly had to do so with just their witnesses present, as public gatherings have been banned as part of Italy’s mass lockdown which aims to slow the spread of the disease.
It’s not how most people would want to get hitched
Instead of being cheered on by well-wishers and showered with confetti, they were seen stepping out afterwards onto an almost deserted street, watched by a lone dog walker.
It comes as the country’s health ministry resorted to even stricter measures yesterday to limit people’s movements as it attempts to contain Europe’s worst Covid-19 outbreak.
Italy is on lockdown in a bid to stop the devastating spread of the killer disease
The flu-like virus claimed the lives of another 627 people in Italy on Friday, taking the total number of deaths to 4,032 – the largest daily rise since the virus was first detected a month ago.
The total number of cases rose to 47,021 from a previous 41,035, an increase of 14.6%, the Civil Protection Agency said.
Yesterday also saw Italy overtake China, where the global health pandemic originated at the beginning of the year, in becoming the country to register the highest number of deaths.
Diego Fernandes, 46 and Deni Salgado, 30
China – where the highly contagious virus has now slowed drastically – has never reported more than 150 deaths in a single day.
Italy’s worrying spike is despite Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte placing the whole country on lockdown nearly two weeks ago, banning all public and sporting events, and closing cinemas, gyms and pubs.
The Italian army has now been sent in to enforce quarantine measures in Lombardy, the country’s worst-affected region, which alone accounted for 380 deaths.
More than 100 soldiers were deployed to the northern Italian region to keep people inside after reports of people defying the new rules.
Shocking footage from inside hospitals in Bergamo also shows patients stricken by the bug laid up in corridors and waiting rooms.
Coronavirus travel rights explained
The army have had to be drafted in to transport bodies of victims 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.
In the UK, the Church of England has said that the number of people attending church weddings during the coronavirus crisis should be limited to the legal minimum of five.
This would be made up of the priest, the bride and groom and two witnesses.
Apart from the couple themselves, the other people attending weddings should observe social distance as much as possible, the Church of England guidance says.