The coronavirus pandemic is exacting a heavy toll throughout Europe as Italy recorded its highest death toll from the disease in a single day and the number of dead in Spain passed 1,000.
The death toll in Italy rose by 627 to 4,032 — by far the biggest rise in a single day. The number of confirmed cases in the country is now over 47,000.
Soldiers were being deployed to the northern Lombardy region amid alarm at the rapidly rising number of cases in Milan.
In Spain, authorities resorted to deploying medical and nursing students to bolster hospital staff as the total number of infections in the country neared 20,000.
“The worst days are coming,” Salvador Illa, the Spanish health minister, warned. With intensive care units rapidly running out of beds, doctors in Madrid were reportedly preparing criteria to decide which patients to prioritise.