Italy reported almost 800 new coronavirus deaths on Saturday with the outbreak showing no signs of abating despite ever stricter curfews being enforced nationwide.
In its daily bulletin, the Civil Protection Authority in Rome said 4,825 people had died, an increase of 793 compared with the day before, making it the highest daily fatality figure since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The number of total infections rose by more than 4,800 to 53,578. Italy is the country with the most officially reported deaths due to the coronavirus in the world.
The northern region of Lombardy has been particularly affected by the outbreak which began in February.
The government on Friday therefore tightened curfews, which have been in force nationwide since March 10. Regional politicians in the north are however demanding further measures.
In the hard-hit north, military vans are having to transport coffins from Bergamo to other Italian cities, as the city, has long run out of space for the many COVID-19 dead.
About 70 coffins were taken away overnight so that the dead could be cremated in another province, the Ansa news agency reported on Saturday.
On Friday alone, almost 90 people died in Bergamo. More than 5,100 people are infected there, and experts believe that there is a high number of unreported cases.
“We hope that we will soon see light at the end of the tunnel, but so far, we do not see it,” said Mayor Giorgio Gori.
Strict curfews and other measures have not yet had their effect in curbing the spread of the virus.
A field hospital in the area is now to relieve overworked clinic staff.
The number of deaths in Italy is conspicuously high compared to the number of officially reported infections.
The exact cause of this is unclear, but there could be several reasons: Italy has one of the oldest populations in the world _ and most of the dead were elderly people suffering from previous illnesses.
They also might get infected easier as many grandparents live in same houses as their children and grandchildren or are more involved their daily lives than in other European countries such as Germany.
Experts also assume that the number of unrecorded infections is much higher than indicated, and many mild or asymptomatic cases are not recorded.
This results in a higher mortality rate than for example in China or Germany.
(c)2020 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)
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