Italy has Europe’s worst virus demise toll: AFP tally

Italy avoids Europe's dramatic virus uptick, but for how long?

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Italy became the European country with the highest pandemic number on Saturday, its new 64,036 deaths overtaking Britain, according to an AFP tally.

The Italian Ministry of Health said 649 people had succumbed to the virus and 19,903 new cases had been diagnosed in the past 24 hours.

Globally, the United States reported the highest number of COVID-19 deaths with 295,539 deaths on Saturday at 1100 GMT, followed by Brazil, India and Mexico.

According to AFP's tally for Europe, Italy has overtaken Great Britain, which has reported 64,026 deaths, followed by France with 57,567 and Spain with 47,624.

Italy became the first European country to suffer a wave of infections earlier this year and imposed a nationwide lockdown on the then terribly new and deadly virus.

Britain's toll overtook Italy's toll on May 6, killing nearly 30,000, and by the summer the southern European nation appeared to have weathered the storm for a while.

But despite the introduction of mass testing, cases increased again in early autumn, as in many other countries – and deaths inevitably followed.

Italy's national medical association said on Friday that a total of 251 doctors have now died from the virus.

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Italy has Europe's worst virus death rate: AFP balance (2020, December 12)
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