Italy coronavirus cases jump by 20% to over 21,000

The number of people infected by coronavirus in Italy has risen by around 20% to 21,157.

A further 175 have been killed by the airborne Sars-like disease in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s death toll to 1,441. The country has been put on lockdown with strict emergency measures in place to prevent the deadly bug’s spread.

Bars, restaurants, sports stadiums, schools and cinemas have been shut down and people who refuse to self-isolate knowing they are infected with Covid-19 could face legal action. Italy is the worst hit country in Europe and in the world outside of China. Its death toll surged by 25% yesterday – the largest increase since the outbreak began.

Italy’s ageing population leaves it in a particularly vulnerable position, with a fatality rate of 6.8% – double the World Health Organisation estimate of 3.4%.

Elderly people and those with pre-existing health conditions are more susceptible to the most serious symptoms of the disease, which originated Wuhan, China in December last year.

A document written up by a crisis management team in the city of Turin said that victims who are over 80 or in poor health could be denied beds if hospitals are overloaded with patients, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

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