Italy’s coronavirus fatalities have crossed 10,000, according to officials, with 889 additional deaths in the past 24 hours.
The Lombardy region, which has borne the worst of the contagion, recorded 542 new deaths, bringing the total there to 5,944. The nationwide mortality rate increased to 10.8 percent. Italy is currently the worst affected country in the global pandemic and has overtaken China in the number of overall infected, with 92,472. The country entered a national lockdown on March 13, and the national government has considered extending the quarantine to mid-April. “Without these measures, we would be seeing far worse numbers and our health service would be in a far more dramatic state. We would have been in an unsustainable situation,” said Angelo Borelli, the Civil Protection head in Italy.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told a news conference after the figures were released that he had approved a new package of 4.7 billion euros ($5.24 billion) of measures to help those worst hit, including shopping vouchers and food packages. The Higher Health Institute (ISS) said that the peak of the coronavirus epidemic in Italy was approaching. Worldwide, the number of cases has topped 650,000. More than 30,000 have died and 139,000 people have recovered.