Italy’s coronavirus death toll has skyrocketed by 756 in one day, bringing the country’s total fatalities to 10,779.
The death toll in Italy alone – the highest in the world – accounts for a third of all fatalities from the bug world-wide.
The total number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 97,689 from a previous 92,472 today, the lowest daily rise in new cases since Wednesday.
Today’s death toll is the second successive fall in daily rates.
Italy’s largest daily toll was registered on Friday when 919 people died. There were 889 deaths on Saturday.
Of those infected nationwide, 13,030 had fully recovered on Sunday, compared to 12,384 the day before. There were 3,906 people in intensive care, up from the previous 3,856.
Lombardy, the hardest hit Italian region, reported a rise in deaths of around 416 on Sunday.
The surge in deaths and cases today comes after reports that at least 50 doctors have lost their lives to the bug in Italy.
Today the National Federation of Orders of Surgeons and Dentists (FNOMCeO) confirmed the names of the doctors who had died from the virus while trying to help fight the pandemic.
The list of names, which is updated daily by the doctor’s association, comes as Italy’s coronavirus death toll rose to 10,023 following a rise in 889 deaths in just 24 hours.
According to the list of medical staff who have now lost their lives to the bug – which is updated daily by the doctors association – 17 had been working in Lombardy.
In a statement seen by The Independent Filippo Anelli, president of the National Federation of Orders of Surgeons and Dentists, said: ‘It is reasonable to assume that these events would have been largely avoidable if health workers had been correctly informed and equipped with sufficient adequate PPE: masks, gloves, disposable gowns, protective visors – which instead continue to be in short supply or to be supplied in an unacceptable way in the midst of an epidemic to which even Italy had declared itself ready only up to two months ago.’
The association confirmed it would continue to report the names of doctors who had died to pay tribute to them.
On Saturday, the Italian Army was brought in to ferry coffins out of Bergamo, Northern Italy as its morgue and crematorium struggled to cope with the surge in fatalities from the pandemic.
Italy’s largest daily toll was registered on Friday when 919 people died.
Prior to that, there were 712 deaths on Thursday, 683 on Wednesday, 743 on Tuesday and 602 on Monday.
Italy has the second-highest number of cases, behind the United States. It surpassed China’s tally on Friday.
Harrowing photos from Bergamo showed officers wearing protective hazmat suits as they worked to store bodies in churches and halls.
It came as Italy’s Prime Minister warned the European Union could ‘lose its purpose’ if it failed to respond strongly to coronavirus – after the country saw its worst spike in deaths to date.
Giuseppe Conte gave the stark statement as grim statistics revealed 969 more deaths yesterday.
Conte aired his grievances after the 27 EU leaders could not agree on an action plan during an argumentative six-hour video conference on Thursday and gave their finance ministers two more weeks to forge a policy that could please Italy and Spain.
The two countries hardest-hit by the pandemic blocked Thursday’s statement because it did not go far enough.
The crux of the argument is about the extent to which the EU – facing what Italy views as an existential threat – should abandon its policy of keeping within tight budget constraints.
The bloc has already untied its purse strings in ways not seen since the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.
Conte argues that this is not enough.
Rome and Madrid want the EU to start issuing ‘corona bonds’ – a form of common debt that governments sell on markets to raise money and address individual economic needs.
More spendthrift nations such as Germany and the Netherlands are balking at the idea of joint debt.
Conte said he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had ‘not just a disagreement but a hard a frank confrontation’ Thursday about how to proceed.
If Europe does not rise to this unprecedented challenge, the whole European structure loses its raison d’etre (reason for existing) to the people,’ Conte told the Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper.
The entire eurozone is expected to slip into a recession over the coming months.
But Italy is facing the threat of a near economic collapse after being the first European country to shutter almost all its businesses on March 12.
Some forecasts suggest that its economy – now the third-largest among nations that use the euro common currency – could contract by as much as seven per cent this year.