Italy suffered its worst day of the coronavirus outbreak Tuesday, recording 475 deaths. The epicenter of the pandemic in Europe, Italy is further along an infection curve other countries in the west appear to be following, and its healthcare system has buckled under the weight of 35,000 cases.
Italy has been on lockdown for almost two weeks as authorities try to halt the progress of the virus.
People have been asked to stay indoors – but the number of deaths has continued to spiral.
The WHO's emergencies director, Mike Ryan, said this was probably due to the "astonishing" number of cases within the health systems, as well as the high number of elderly people in the population at large.
"The first vaccine trial has begun, just 60 days after the genetic sequence of the #coronavirus was shared. This is an incredible achievement.
We commend the researchers around the world who have come together to systemically evaluate experimental therapeutics"-@DrTedros #COVID19
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 18, 2020