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Rome, March 20, 2020
Italy, which saw its COVID-19 death toll on Thursday overtake that of China where the disease was first reported, on Friday reported another huge spike in fatalities which have now crossed 4,000.
In the last 24 hours, the country recorded 627 deaths - the largest number so far - taking its total to 4,032, as per officials, the BBC reported.
It has been the worst week so far for Italy, which recorded 300 plus deaths for three days running since Sunday, 400 plus for the next two days and now, crossed 600.
The number of confirmed cases in the virus-ravaged country have risen to 47,021, despite severe restrictions on people's movement. The country's health service is under huge strain.
Meanwhile, Spain became the fourth country after Italy, China and Iran to record over 1,000 coronavirus deaths far. Another 235 fatalities in the last 24 hours have taken its total to 1,002, the BBC said. Almost 20,000 people have contracted the virus but 1,588 have recovered.
However, its neighbour, Portugal has had just six deaths, with 1,020 people testing positive so far.
Switzerland has begun emerging as another area of concern.
Health Minister Alain Berset Friday warned that the country "had its back to the wall" and sought co-operation from every single citizen follow the announced restrictions.
Groups of five or more are banned, everyone must stay at home except to shop or work in essential services.
In a population of 8.57 million, Switzerland has seen 4,840 cases and 43 deaths.
With all shops, schools, and restaurants closed, the government has announced a $40 billion package to support businesses and workers, including apprentices and part-timers.