Right after the country was placed under complete lock-down, Italy reported its highest single-day death toll, due to the novel coronavirus. On Friday, March 13, the country reported as many as 2,547 new cases along with 250 fatalities.
This has brought Italy's total death toll to 1,266 and the number of cases to 17,660 till now making it the worst-hit nation outside China, as the latter has seen a significant drop in the number of cases and fatalities. As a result, the WHO declared Europe as the new epicentre of coronavirus pandemic.
This is how Italians are keeping their spirits high
Earlier this week, the Italian government took extraordinary measures to curb the spread of the virus. The country was placed under complete lock-down, with widespread travel restrictions and curbs on public assembly. People have been told to stay at home, unless for an important errand, like visiting a doctor or buying groceries. Also, all shops, except food stores, pharmacies, newspaper stands, have been ordered to remain shut.
As a result, Italian cities have turned into ghost towns. To prevent the loneliness to take a toll on them, the quarantined Italian residents have taken to singing through their balconies. Throughout Friday, social media has been flooded with such heart-warming videos of Italians singing together to fight boredom.
China sends medical aid, Italian FM slams EU
China has sent 31 tonnes of medical supplies to Italy, along with medical experts, who were at the front-line of the coronavirus epidemic in China, South China Morning Post reported. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio used the opportunity to slam the fellow European Union members for their unsatisfactory response. In a video he posted on his Facebook page, late on Thursday, Maio said, "There are the first 40 ventilators, there are the masks. And that is what we call solidarity."
Europe "should help us and not put obstacles in our way," he added. Countries, such as France and Germany had earlier notified that they wouldn't export medical supplies, in order to prevent supply shortage in their own countries.