The death toll from the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in Italy reached 3,405 on Thursday, surpassing the toll from China where the virus originated. As of Thursday night, Italy had over 41,000 cases.
427 deaths were recorded in the span of 24 hours on Thursday, a day earlier, 475 were reported dead in the highest single-day death toll of any country from the coronavirus.
China, with 84,557 cases and 3,130 deaths, has seen a dramatic slowdown in the spread of the virus, reporting no new domestic cases on Thursday and the first time that no new cases were announced in its epicentre at Wuhan.
The larger death toll in Italy, a country whose population is 60 million compared to China’s 1.4 billion, can be explained by its older demographics. Italy has the second-oldest population in the world, with over 23 per cent of its citizens over the age of 65—the highest ratio in the EU. The coronavirus so far has proven far deadlier for the elderly than for younger patients.
Italy has also faced flak for its response to the outbreak. A Red Cross team visiting the country on Thursday said that locals were not following quarantine.
The coronavirus pandemic, though slowed down in China, has now taken off in Europe and in the United States. The US had over 10,000 cases on Thursday as over 2,700 new cases were reported in just 24 hours.