Italy on Saturday, March 21, reported 793 new deaths from coronavirus Covid-19,  a one-day record that saw the country’s toll shoot up to 4,825 – 38.3 percent of the world’s total.

The increase of 19.6 percent is by far the largest daily rise in absolute terms since the contagion emerged a month ago.

The country, at the heart of western Europe’s rampaging outbreak, now counts 53,578 known cases.

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The total number of victims in Italy has risen to 4,825, accounting for 38.3% of the world’s total number of Covid-19 victims. The number of deaths in the coronavirus outbreak in the Lombardy region in the north of the country exceeds 3,000. This is almost two-thirds of all deaths in Italy.

The number of victims of the pandemic has increased despite numerous government efforts to limit the spread of the virus, including through strict social exclusion requirements.The Mediterranean, with its 60 million inhabitants, has been under strict quarantine since March 12, when assembly in public places was banned and most shops closed.

On Saturday a large number of policemen were seen on the streets of Rome, checking documents and fining those outside the home for no good reason, such as going shopping.

Runners are only required to run around their home blocks. Parks and beaches are closed, but the government is preparing for schools and other facilities to be closed during the summer months as well.

Data released on Saturday suggests that in Italy, more than 60 percent of the latest deaths occurred in the northern region of Lombardy, whose hospitals have been reeling under a staggering case load that has left intensive care beds hard to find and respirators in short supply. The world-class healthcare system in the north is beginning to crack.

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Officials said that on Sunday a team of 65 Cuban doctors and nurses, with experience in battling Ebola outbreaks, will arrive in northern Italy to help in the hard-hit Lombardy town of Cremona.

The health care system in northern Italy is far better than the relatively poorer southern one, where only a few dozen deaths are recorded in each region. There are 50 deaths and 1190 infections in the Lazio region, which also includes the capital city of Rome.

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