Italy announces CLOSURE of all shops as coronavirus death toll climbs by 31% in 24 hours

Italy has said all shops except pharmacies and food outlets will be closed in response to the country’s coronavirus outbreak as the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Italy jumped in the last 24 hours by 196 to 827.

A top Italian doctor said intensive care wards should place an age limit on beds as a way of prioritising medical resources amid the deepening crisis.

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Rather than admit patients on a ‘first come first served’ basis, hospitals should swap to ‘catastrophe medicine’ guidelines – typically used in war zones and during natural disasters – where those with the greatest chance of survival are given priority.

The guidelines should apply to all patients needing intensive care treatment and not just those suffering from coronavrius, according to guidance published this week by the Society of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care (SAARI).

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If a limit on beds is implemented it could mean elderly patients with no signs of coronavirus being turfed off ICU wards to make space for younger patients who have longer left to live.

It comes as total confirmed infections in Europe rose to 22,485 with 940 deaths, according to a new tally which is compiled from official sources.

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In Italy, the number has risen to 12,462 cases with 827 fatalities.

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