Italy’s COVID-19 death toll surpasses 1,000

Two women walk in front of Milan cathedral, which has been closed following the explosion of COVID-19 cases in Italy (Credit: Andreas Solaro/AFP)

Italy’s COVID-19 death toll has surpassed 1,000, health officials announced on Thursday.

In the last 24 hours, the country experienced a rise in COVID-19 deaths by 189, climbing to 1,016. The figures represent a 23 percent hike.

Italy is the worst affected country in Europe, with the number of cases surpassing 15,000 as of Thursday.

To curb the spread of the virus, the Italian government has taken drastic measures including the banning of all public gatherings and sporting events. It has also shut down all schools and universities, as well as shops. Only food stores and pharmacies remain operational.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom, there are now close to 125,000 COVID-19 cases globally.

118 countries and territories have reported cases, with only 77 yet to confirm any case. 55 countries and territories have reported 10 cases or less.

Tedros laid out a four-pronged strategy in the fight; preparation and readiness; detection, prevention and treatment; reduction and suppression; innovation and improvement.