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Italy — a country at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe — watched its number of cases and deaths due to the novel coronavirus astronomically leap once again, up 793 deaths with 6,557 newly confirmed cases recorded in just 24 hours.
Saturday’s jump marks the worst day for fatalities since the crisis began just four months ago.
The country now counts 53,578 diagnosed infections, up 13.9 percent, with 4,825 deaths — the highest in the world.
More than 60 percent of the most recent deaths occurred in the northern region of Lombardy. Hospitals in the area have been reeling under a staggering caseload that has left intensive care beds scarce and respirators in extremely limited supply.
According to the Financial Times, 2,857 people were in intensive care in Lombardy on Saturday, up from 2,655 on Friday.
There were also 943 full recoveries tallied yesterday — another record for the country.
MIRAFIORI FACTORY, TURIN, ITALY – 2020/03/11: A woman wearing a respiratory mask rides past Fiat Mirafiori car plant that today is part of FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles). FCA temporarily closed four plants (Pomigliano, Melfi, Cassino and Atessa) across Italy to prevent spread of COVID-19 coronavirus. (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)
On Thursday, Italy was witness to yet another grim milestone in its fight against the deadly disease by overtaking China to become the country with the highest number of deaths.
On Friday the government banned the last types of outdoor exercise Italians were able to participate in under the lockdown measures by deciding that running and bicycle rides were no longer permitted.
In addition, the Italian military has also been dispatched to Milan to ensure that citizens follow the new lockdown measures.
The Italian interior ministry reported that more than 223,633 people were inspected by the Italian police nationwide on Friday, with 9,888 people reported for breaking the lockdown measures and 260 for false declarations about why they were outside.
Across the Atlantic, the number of cases in the United States has now exceeded 22,000 with more than 270 deaths. New York tops the list with at least 10,000 confirmed cases; Washington state follows with just over 1,500 cases, and California is in tow with more than 1,200.
Thus far, the global pandemic has infected more than 287,000 people and killed over 11,900. More than 90,000 people have recovered so far, mostly in China.
The Associated Press and The Financial Times contributed to this report.