Italy, Spain suffer record virus deaths, Rome alone records 1,000 fatalities on Friday

ROME: Italy has logged a shocking spike in its already staggering coronavirus death toll, with officials warning the peak of the crisis was still days away, as the global infection rate surges relentlessly upwards.

It came as Italy recorded almost 1,000 deaths from the virus on Friday, the worst one-day toll anywhere since the pandemic began.

One coronavirus sufferer, a cardiologist from Rome who has since recovered, recalled his hellish experience at a hospital in the capital.

“The treatment for the oxygen therapy is painful, looking for the radial artery is difficult. Desperate other patients were crying out, ‘enough, enough’,” he doctor said while talking to media person.

In one bright spot, infection rates in Italy continued their recent downward trend. But the head of the national health institute Silvio Brusaferro said the country was not out of the woods yet, predicting “we could peak in the next few days”.

Spain too said its rate of new infections appeared to be slowing, despite also reporting its deadliest day.

With more than 300,000 people infected in Europe alone, the disease shows few signs of slowing, and has already cast the world into a recession, economists say.

In the US, which now has more than 104,000 COVID-19 patients, President Donald Trump invoked wartime powers Friday to force a private company to make medical equipment, as the country’s overburdened healthcare system struggles to cope.

“Today’s action will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives,” Trump said as he issued the order to auto giant General Motors.

With 60 per cent of the country in lockdown, and infections skyrocketing, Trump also signed the largest stimulus package in US history, worth $2 trillion.

Read more: Italy reports 368 fatalities in last 24 hours, as toll crosses 1,809 in country

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