Coronavirus Italy: Death toll soars to more than 4,000 – 627 more dead

Italy's Civil Protection Department has announced there have been 4,032 people who have succumbed to the effects of the coronavirus after being infected. 37,860 are also reported to be sick from the virus at present. The country has even recorded a bigger death toll than in China, where the deadly virus originated.

Europe has now been deemed by the World Health Organisation as the epicentre of the virus, as coronavirus spreads across the continent.

As a result of the severity of the illness across the country, a lockdown was imposed in Italy on March 12.

This ordered all Italians to remain at home, unless travelling for food supplies or to the pharmacy.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte described the lockdown measures as necessary to prevent "the collapse of the system".

However, Mr Conte also warned it would not be possible to return to life as before immediately after the lockdown was lifted. 

As part of the restrictive measures, bars, restaurants and shops have closed, with Italians told to stay inside and self-isolate as much as possible.

READ MORE: Italexit: Italian PM issues grave warning to Brussels over EU unity

Hospitals in southern Italy have been told to brace themselves for an influx of coronavirus cases.

It appears that while lockdown measures have been implemented across the country, the cases continue to roll in.

A rise has been noted in southern regions of Lazio, Campania and Puglia - where it is believed people fled to after the lockdown of northern Italy in early March.

Soldiers are now patrolling the streets of Naples and Sicily to ensure people stay inside.

Anyone who breaks quarantine measures could face harsh consequences as a result. 

Doctors have also called for increased testing measures to be implemented, particularly in southern regions of the country, which are often less well-off.

The current daily death toll in Italy is significantly higher than officially reported by China at the peak of the outbreak in Wuhan.

Chinese medical experts, who joined the country to help it deal with the crisis, have slammed the Italian Government saying the restrictions in place in Lombardy are "not strict enough".

The president of Lombardy, Attilio Fontana, has now announced 114 soldiers will be on the ground in the region to conduct patrols.

He added: "It is still too little but it is positive."

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