Italy coronavirus toll tops 230, cases near 6,000

By: AFP      Published: 10:30 PM, 7 Mar, 2020
Italy coronavirus toll tops 230, cases near 6,000
Tourists wearing respiratory masks visit the Coliseum in Rome. AFP

Italy's death toll from the novel coronavirus rose by 36 to 233 on Saturday while the number of infections shot up by a single-day record of 1,247 to hit 5,883.

Italy has recorded the most deaths of any country outside China and the third-most COVID-19 infections after China and South Korea. Official figures showed the number of people receiving intensive care in hospitals jumped to 567 from 462 on Friday.

The Italian government has been watching closely to see if cases are spreading from the richer north to the poorer south, which has fewer medical resources. All 22 Italian regions have now registered cases and one new death was reported Friday in the Lazio region that includes Rome and its outskirts.

The southeastern region of Puglia around the city of Bari recorded its second death on Saturday. Italy's civil protection service also revealed that the northern Lombardy region around Milan that has seen well over half of all infections had started "experiencing difficulties with the (number of) beds available in hospitals".

"We have beds available in other regions to help Lombardy," civil protection service chief Angelo Berrelli told reporters.