Italy’s coronavirus toll tops 10,000
ROME: The coronavirus toll in Italy shot past 10,000 on Saturday and showed little sign of slowing despite a 16-day lockdown.
The 889 new fatalities reported in the world’s worst-hit nation came a day after it registered 969 deaths on Friday — the highest single toll since the COVID-19 virus emerged late last year.
Italy now looks certain to extend its economically debilitating — and emotionally stressful — business closures and the ban on public gatherings past their April 3 deadline.
“Is it time to reopen the country? I think we have to think about it really carefully,” civil protection service chief Angelo Borrelli told reporters.
“The country is at a standstill and we must maintain the least amount of activity possible to ensure the survival of all.”
Italians had begun to hope that their worst disaster in generations was easing after the increase in daily death rates began to slow on March 22.
But the new surge has changed the Mediterranean nation’s mood.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told Italians late Saturday to be ready to spend more time cooped up at home.
“If one is being reasonable, one cannot envision a quick return to normal life,” Conte said in his latest sombre television address.