Italian health officials confirmed that 175 people died from the new coronavirus in 24 hours, raising the death toll to more than 1,400.
The Italian Civil Protection Department said on Saturday the total number of cases currently confirmed in the country has risen to 21,157, according to Reuters. Italy is the worst-affected country in Europe, and globally second only to China, where the virus emerged last year before it spread to more than 100 countries and became a global pandemic after the Chinese regime failed to prevent its spread.
Italian authorities added that nearly 2,000 patients of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, have recovered. More than 1,500 people are in intensive care.
In Europe, outside of Italy, Spain imposed a country-wide lockdown on Sunday after more than 6,000 cases were confirmed. The emergency order will last two weeks, according to reports.
Spain has the fifth-largest number of cases behind China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea. Around 190 people have died so far in the country.
The lockdown means that people are banned from leaving home except for buying essential items such as medicines and groceries, or to work. Italy imposed similar measures last week.
On March 13, Italian officials said that 250 people died in a 24-hour span.
“Social distancing is the key to reducing the spread of the infection. The coming weeks will be decisive and will depend on the behavior of each individual citizen,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza said last week.
“Our habits must be changed, changed now. We all have to give up something for the good of Italy. When I speak of Italy, I speak of our dear ones, of our grandparents and of our parents,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said. “We will succeed only if we all collaborate and we adapt right away to these more stringent norms.”