Seven hundred and ninety three people died of the coronavirus in Italy on Saturday, taking the country’s total deaths from the pandemic to 4,825.
The figure represents the highest day-to-day rise in the number of deaths.
Infection rose by 6,557 to 53578 within the same period.
Spain announced 324 new coronavirus deaths as number of cases rose to 24,926.
According to the health ministry COVID-19 deaths went up to 1,326 from 1,002 in the space of 24 hours.
Britain recorded 53 deaths yesterday alone.
But China, where the pandemic started, did not record any fresh case for the third day in a row.
Despite extensive measures to prevent the disease from spreading, Italy remains the worst affected country in Europe.
Italy’s fatalities are said to account for 38.3 per cent of the world’s total.
Video from inside the city’s main hospital showed patients lined up in a narrow ward, struggling for breath as doctors and nurses moved from one beeping machine to the next.
It has been on lockdown since March 12, when public gatherings were banned and most stores shuttered.
Police stormed the streets of Rome yesterday, checking documents and fining those outside without a valid reason, such as buying groceries.
In Bergamo, in the northern Italian region at the epicentre of the outbreak, cemeteries are now overwhelmed too.
In one town, authorities are trying a new tactic.
The residents of Vo, near Padua – perhaps the first Coronavirus ‘hotspot’ in Italy – have been tested and isolated and then retesting and retesting every one of the 3,300 inhabitants.