- More than 272,000 people have contracted the virus and at least 11,310 have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University
- Italy ordered its military to enforce lockdowns as 627 people died in 24 hours
China reports no new locally transmitted virus cases for the third day in a row
Mainland China reported 41 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday — all of which were imported from overseas, according to the country’s National Health Commission.
Seven more people died, bringing the death toll in mainland China to 3,255 by the end of Friday.
The NHC found no new locally transmitted cases for the third day in a row and confirmed no new cases in Hubei province, the epicenter of the pandemic.
Italy called in the military to enforce coronavirus lockdown after 627 people died in 24 hours
Soldiers were drafted in to help enforce the lockdown in Italy on Friday as officials announced 627 new deaths — the largest single-day toll anywhere in the world since the coronavirus outbreak began.
Desperate scenes have unfolded in the north of the country, particularly the hard-hit Lombardy region where infections first exploded last month, as hospitals struggle to treat thousands of cases.
And Chinese medical experts helping Italy deal with the crisis have said the restrictions imposed in Lombardy are “not strict enough.”
The government has agreed that the military can be used to help enforce the lockdown, the president of the Lombardy region, Attilio Fontana, told a news conference on Friday.
“(The request to use the army) has been accepted… and 114 soldiers will be on the ground throughout Lombardy… it is still too little, but it is positive,” Fontana said. “Unfortunately we are not seeing a change of trend in the numbers, which are rising.”
Until now, the soldiers had been deployed in the region to ensure general security in the streets.
More than 4,000 people have died from the disease in Italy, the country’s civil protection agency said Friday — more than any other nation — and nearly 6,000 new infections were confirmed in the past day, bringing the total to more than 47,000 cases.