Coronavirus: Italy records 368 new COVID-19 deaths – largest number in a day

Italy has recorded 368 new coronavirus deaths – its largest number of fatalities in a day since the start of the outbreak.

A total of 1,809 people with COVID-19 have now died in the country, which is the hardest-hit by the virus in Europe, as the number of cases rose to more than 24,700.

It comes after Spain saw its number of coronavirus deaths more than double in a day to 288.

The country joined Italy by going into lockdown with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez imposing tight movement restrictions on its 47 million citizens as part of a 15-day state of emergency.

All schools, universities, restaurants, bars and hotels in Spain have been closed nationwide along with non-essential stores – a move some of the hardest-hit communities have already carried out.

In other developments in the spread of coronavirus around the world:

  • Ireland’s government is asking all pubs to close from midnight on Sunday until at least 29 March
  • Germany plans to close its borders with Austria, France and Switzerland from Monday, according to local media
  • The UK Foreign Office has warned against all but essential travel to the US – a day after Donald Trump announced a ban on UK and Irish flights to America
  • Austria is to ban gatherings of more than five people from Monday
  • The Czech Republic’s prime minister said a quarantine for the entire country is likely to be declared to fight the outbreak
  • The Netherlands reported eight more coronavirus deaths, taking its total to 20
  • A cruise ship carrying at least 600 Britons is stranded off the coast of the Bahamas after some passengers reported flu-like symptoms
  • Ski resorts across Europe have shut down more than a month early as countries attempt to halt the spread of coronavirus
  • Cyprus says it will only allow people into country with medical clearance, and those who do arrive will be placed in compulsory quarantine for two weeks
  • Tunisia asks its citizens for financial donations to help tackle coronavirus
  • Hungary confirmed its first death of a patient with COVID-19

The 288 coronavirus deaths in Spain is up from 136 announced on Saturday.

The country has recorded 7,753 infections, up from 5,700 on Saturday, with around half of these concentrated in the capital Madrid.

Begona Gomez, the wife of Spain’s prime minister, has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, with the couple said to be in good health.

Two ministers from Mr Sanchez’s cabinet were also diagnosed with the virus earlier this week.

The UK Foreign Office updated its travel advice for Spain on Sunday, warning people against all but essential travel to the whole of the country after previously warning against going to certain regions.

British holidaymakers’ travel plans have been thrown into disarray after dozens of flights and holidays in Spain were cancelled over coronavirus fears.

Jet2 planes heading to Spain turned back mid-flight on Saturday morning after the airline announced the cancellation of flights to the country, as well as the Balearic and the Canary Islands.

Meanwhile, travel company TUI cancelled holidays in Spain booked for this weekend.

France, where 91 people have died from the virus, has closed all “non-essential” shops over the pandemic.

Almost 4,500 people have now tested positive for coronavirus in France, with 300 in intensive care, according to Jerome Salomon, head of the French public health authority.

There have been more than 156,000 suspected and confirmed coronavirus cases around the world and more than 5,800 deaths linked to the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the outbreak.

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