Italy reports record 793 COVID-19 fatalities in a single-day; overtakes China, Iran's combined toll

Italy reported a record 793 coronavirus deaths, bringing its total to 4,825 on Saturday, March 21. Its death toll exceeded the combined death toll of initial epicentre China (3,255) and hit Iran's (1,556). Italy now accounts for more than a third of the world's coronavirus fatalities.

Covid-19: Latest global updates

Covid-19 figures on March 22
John Hopkins University

Italy reported 6,557 new Covid-19 cases, bringing its total to 53,578 on Saturday. After Italy, Spain recorded the highest single-day death toll of 285, along with 3,925 new cases. Its number of cases and fatalities now stands at 25,496 and 1,378, according to the latest tally by Worldmeter.

In terms of fatalities, Iran is the worst-affected, after Italy and China. On Saturday, it recorded 123 new deaths and 966 cases. Its number of cases and fatalities, as on Sunday, are 20,610 and 1,556, respectively.

USA reported 4,824 new cases and 46 fatalities, bringing the country's total to 24,207 cases and 302 fatalities. France reported 112 new deaths and 1,847 additional cases, bringing its total to 562 deaths and 14,459 cases.

Cases now exceed 1,000 in Africa and Democratic Republic of Congo, Finland, Lithuania, Mauritius, reported their first Covid-19 fatalities, on Saturday. A positive development, among all the gloom, is that China hasn't reported any new domestic cases, for the third day straight. It has reported 81,008 and 3,255 fatalities, till now.

Fresh steps taken by governments

As Italy is heading towards an unprecedented crisis, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, ordered all non-essential goods-producing factories, to remain shut. "The decision taken by the government is to close down all productive activity throughout the territory that is not strictly necessary, crucial, indispensable, to guarantee us essential goods and services," he said in a late-night TV address on Saturday, AFP reported. "We will slow down the country's productive engine, but we will not stop it," he added.

The country of 60 million has been placed under complete lock-down, as it has become the new epicentre of Covid-19 pandemic. Those caught flouting rules are now fined. In the US, New Jersey has become the latest state to restrict movement, in order to curb the disease from spreading.

"This is a time of shared national sacrifice, but also a time to treasure our loved ones," US President Donald Trump, said in a statement. "We're going to have a great victory," he added, AFP reported. In France, drones and helicopters are deployed to boost the government's efforts to keep residents indoor. As per latest reports, the total number of coronavirus cases reported from around the world reached 308,215; along with 13,062 deaths.

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