THE DEATH toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Italy has risen to 5,476, an increase of 651 since yesterday.
Officials confirmed the news on Sunday, adding the total number of cases in Italy rose to 59,138 – a jump of 5,560 from 53,578.
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The coronavirus death toll in the Lombardy region of Italy has risen by 546 in just one dayCredit: AP:Associated Press
The hardest-hit Italian region of Lombardy remained in a critical situation, with 3,456 deaths and 27,206 cases – which rose from a previous 3,095 and 25,515 respectively.
Of those originally infected nationwide, 7,024 had fully recovered on Sunday compared to 6,072 on Saturday.
There were 3,009 people in intensive care.
It comes as troops are working round-the-clock to move coffins in Italy after the coronavirus pandemic claimed the lives of 793 people in a single day.
The total number of dead in the hardest-hit country in the world soared to 4,825 today – the worst day for fatalities since the crisis began.
Soldiers have been drafted in to ferry bodies to cemeteries already struggling to cope with the numbers dying.
Photos taken in Bergamo show a convoy of military vehicles loaded with the coffins of those killed by the virus.
Lockdowns are now in force in countries across EuropeCredit: EPA
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Under tough new isolation rules, sport and physical activity outside, even individually, is banned in Lombardy.
Speaking to ITV, Connor McAnish, a British doctor working on an intensive care unit in the region, described an “endless stream” of patients.
“They’ve had to build a tent outside the hospital [and] there are burials about every 30 minutes in the cemetery,” he said.
“With so many patients coming in, when someone dies it’s almost as if we say, ‘Okay we couldn’t do anything for this person, now we can take another person and see if their condition will improve’.”
Reports had previously emerged from Lombardy of patients who would normally be in intensive care having to be left on wards without the resources to properly treat them.
Response systems are also receiving in excess of 2,500 emergency calls per day.
HOW ARE LOCKDOWNS BEING ENFORCED IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES?
Countries around the world are now enforcing lockdowns and nationwide quarantines, but the punishments for flouting them vary from place-to-place
In Spain, residents face fines starting from £90 or even imprisonment if they disobey authorities.
A total of 350 arrests have been made and 31,000 fines handed out to people flouting the restrictions.
One couple caught having sex in a car told police they shared a flat with too many people to get intimate under lockdown, while another four people were fined after being caught taking it in turns to take the same dog for a walk.
The government has also said that any company that can help in the extra production of diagnosis material and protective equipment like masks, glasses, or gloves must contact them or face a fine.
Authorities in China, the first country in the world to report cases, earlier deployed a fleet of drones through which they could talk to people and encourage them to go home.
They also set up checkpoints on the streets and at the entrance of residence buildings where people had to get their temperature checked before passing.
In Italy, Europe’s worst-hit country, authorities so far charged over 40,000 people with ignoring the lockdown.
The face fines of £190 and three-month prison terms.
In France, anyone caught outside without justification is being given a fine equivalent to £128, while repeat offenders face detention and ultimately imprisonment.
President Emmanuel Macron this week expressed concern that people were not understanding the severity of the crisis.
In Australia, fines as high as £25,000 could be handed out to people failing to isolate themselves appropriately.
Today also saw the death toll in Spain rise to 1,720, an increase of 394.
The number of cases in the country rose to 3,646, to a total of 28,572 according to health ministry figures, who added the COVID-19 is seriously straining Spain’s health care system.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Health Minister Salvador Illa have both warned that “the worst has still to come”, with hospitals now saturated and in need of fresh medical supplies.
Companies deemed “non essential” have also been closed down by the government.
Sanchez has said his country’s situation was now the most difficult since the 1936-39 civil war.
The country has been in lockdown since Sanchez announced a state of emergency last Saturday and limited people’s ability to leave their homes.
Residents are allowed to travel to buy food or walk pets, but not to go for a jog or cycle, even alone.
Shops, restaurants, bars, and cinemas have all been closed and police are patrolling the streets to enforce the measures.
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Workers are seen disinfecting a public escalator in Madrid, SpainCredit: Getty Images – Getty