Italy on Friday reported 627 coronavirus deaths. That's the largest single-day jump in the four weeks since the COVID-19 outbreak began in the country and the highest death toll reported in one day by any country.
On Thursday, when Italy's death toll was 3,405, it overtook China as the country with the most coronavirus deaths. There have been 47,021 infections in Italy and 4,032 deaths. The disease has taken the greatest toll on Italy's elderly population. Lombardy has become the country's coronavirus epicenter. Only grocery stores and pharmacies are allowed to operate during lockdown which would be prolonged. Hospitals struggle to treat thousands of cases. The Prime Minister's office said a taskforce of up to 300 additional volunteer doctors would be sent to the areas of Italy worst affected by the pandemic.
Chinese medical experts helping Italy deal with the crisis have said the restrictions imposed in Lombardy are "not strict enough." Soldiers were asked to help enforce the lockdown in Italy on Friday. "(The request to use the army) has been accepted... and 114 soldiers will be on the ground throughout Lombardy... it is still too little, but it is positive," he president of the Lombardy region, Attilio Fontana, told a news conference. Bergamo's mayor on Thursday announced plans to build a field hospital in the city to help manage the situation.