Italy reported 368 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, a grim record for the country that’s become the epicenter for the global novel coronavirus outbreak.
Italy’s civil protection chief Angelo Borrelli also announced some 3,590 newly confirmed coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infected people to 24,747, the Associated Press reported.
The new cases mark the biggest day-to-day increase yet for Italy, and suggests that the country is still struggling to contain the disease, despite being the first European country to go on lockdown.
Italy has the oldest population in Europe, and their elderly have paid a heavy toll through this pandemic. A total of 1,809 people have died in Italy, out of 6,000 deaths worldwide.
Anecdotal reports suggest that Italy is also struggling to stay on top of burials amid the rising body count. A man in Naples made a desperate plea via social media for undertakers to collect his sister’s dead body from his apartment.
He said that his 47-year-old sister started to show symptoms of coronavirus last week and deteriorated rapidly. Thirty-six hours after he posted the video, undertakers in protective clothing collected her body and took it to the local cemetery, Reuters reported.
The number of cases — and deaths — also skyrocketed in neighboring Spain, which announced its own lockdown measures on Saturday.
Also on Sunday, for the first time the number of cases outside China exceeded the number of cases in China. Chinese officials said last week that they think the worst of the pandemic there is over, and the number of new cases have started to drop off.
Cover: Medical personnel care for patients in an emergency temporary room, set up to ease pressure on the healthcare system, at a hospital in Brescia, Italy, on Friday, March 13, 2020. Europe's largest coronavirus outbreak is putting unprecedented strain on the Italian health-care system, with hospitals in the worst-affected areas close to the breaking point. (Photo: Francesca Volpi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)