March 25, 2020 - 10:51 AMT
Coronavirus deaths spike as Italy hikes fines for violating lockdown

Fatalities in Italy from coronavirus have surged in the last 24 hours, the Civil Protection Agency said on Tuesday, March 25, dashing hopes the epidemic in the world's worst-hit country was easing.

The death toll rose by 743 on Tuesday, March 24 the second-highest daily tally since the outbreak emerged in northern regions on February 21, after more encouraging numbers in the previous two days., Al Jazeera reports.

The Italian government has hiked fines for people who defy a lockdown order, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said, adding that he hoped he could start lifting the restrictions shortly.

Anyone caught leaving their home without good reason will now face fines of between 400 euros to 3,000 euros ($430 to $3,227) against a previous 206 euros, Conte said in a television address.

As of Wedneday, there have been more than 423,000 confirmed cases of people with the virus across the world. Over 18,900 people have died while more than 108,000 have recovered.

Photo. Reuters