Italy coronavirus death toll tops 10,000

Soldiers wait by the military trucks to take away coffins that have been piling up in a church due to the high number of deaths as Italy struggles to contain a spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Seriate, Italy March 28, 2020. /Reuters
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The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has surged by 889 to top 10,000, the Civil Protection Agency said on Saturday, the second highest daily tally since the epidemic emerged on February 21.

The toll in Italy, which has suffered more deaths than any other country, now stands at 10,023. An additional 5,974 infections brought to 92,472 the number of people who have officially tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy since the crisis began last month.

The first Western country to introduce severe restrictions on movement after uncovering the outbreak five weeks ago, Italy has since increasingly tightened them. It has banned all non-essential activities until April 3.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has urged the European Union to launch a “recovery bond” to help fund the response to the coronavirus outbreak, saying failure to tackle the emergency would be a “tragic mistake” for the bloc.

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In an interview with Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore on Saturday, Conte said a common debt instrument was needed to spearhead a European recovery and reinvestment plan to support the economy of the whole area.

Education Minister Lucia Azzolina has already said the closure of schools and universities, which began on March 5, would have to be extended past April 3.

That’s while Italy’s minister for the country’s economically disadvantaged southern regions expressed concerns about potential social tensions and civil unrest in poorer areas if, as expected, the epidemic moves south.

“I am afraid that the worries that are affecting large sections of the population over health, income and the future, with the continuation of the crisis, will turn into anger and hatred,” Minister Giuseppe Provenzano told La Repubblica newspaper on Saturday.

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