Italy now has nearly as many coronavirus cases as China as infections soar to 80,539 and death toll rises by 712 to 8,215 as global cases total goes past half a million
- Italy has 80,539 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with 8,215 deaths reported
- Nation has almost as many virus patients as China, where there are 81,782 cases
- There are 510,108 coronavirus cases confirmed worldwide with 22,993 deaths
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Italy’s coronavirus death toll has today soared by 712 to 8,215 with more than 6,100 new cases recorded, taking the global total past half a million.
The nation’s total number of confirmed cases has risen to 80,539, almost as many as China, where COVID-19 was first reported in December.
The nation’s Civil Protection Agency reported 712 deaths today, bringing the country’s death toll to 8,215 – the highest in the world.
There are 510,108 coronavirus cases confirmed worldwide, with 22,993 deaths reported as a result of the virus.
Pictured: Pallbearers bring a coffin to be stored in the church of San Giuseppe in Seriate, near Bergamo, Lombardy, today amid the country’s coronavirus lockdown
Italy’s death toll had jumped by 683 to 7,503 on Wednesday, a decline in the daily tally of fatalities following a spike in deaths a day earlier.
On Tuesday 743 people died, following 602 deaths on Monday, 650 on Sunday and a record of 793 on Saturday – the highest daily figure since the deadly bug emerged in the country on February 21.
Of those originally infected nationwide, it was reported 9,362 had fully recovered on Wednesday compared to 8,326 the day before.
There were said to be 3,489 people in intensive care against a previous 3,396.
A coffin is carried to be aligned with others on the floor in the San Giuseppe church in Seriate, one of the areas worst hit by coronavirus, near Bergamo, Italy today
The hardest-hit northern region of Lombardy also reported a sharp fall in the number of deaths on Wednesday compared with the day before, but remained in a critical situation, with a total of 4,474 deaths and 32,346 cases.
That compared with 4,178 deaths and 30,703 cases reported up to Tuesday.
The World Health Organisation said there were ‘encouraging signs’ after Italy’s latest numbers were released, but warned it was ‘still too early to say whether the pandemic is peaking’.
But today’s numbers mean Italy has almost surpassed China as the nation with the most confirmed cases of the deadly virus.
There are 81,782 reported cases of COVID-19 in China, where some 61,201 people have recovered from the pandemic in the Wuhan province alone.
A convoy of military vehicles arrives at the Monumental Cemetery in Bergamo today
Doctors treat COVID-19 patients in an intensive care unit at the third Covid 3 Hospital (Istituto clinico CasalPalocco) during the coronavirus emergency in Rome