With the number of deaths in the country reaching 3,405 on Thursday, Italy has surpassed China and is now the deadliest centre of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The total number of cases in the country rose to 41,035 on Thursday, which includes 5,322 new cases, the Italian Civil Protection Agency said at a news conference.
The current number of deaths in China stands at 3,242, according to the World Health Organization.
Chinese coronavirus experts warn northern Italy's lockdown measures are not enough
The coronavirus measures in place in the hard hit Lombardy region of northern Italy are “not strict enough,” according to Chinese medical experts helping the country deal with the crisis.
The situation in Lombardy right now "is similar to what we experienced two months ago in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of COVID-19," the Chinese Red Cross vice president, Sun Shuopeng, said Thursday in a press conference in Milan, Italy.
"In the city of Wuhan after one month since the adoption of the lockdown policy, we see a decreasing trend from the peak of the disease," Sun Shuopeng said. "Here in Milan, the hardest hit area by COVID-19, there isn't a very strict lockdown: public transportation is still working and people are still moving around, you're still having dinners and parties in the hotels and you're not wearing masks. We need every citizen to be involved in the fight of COVID-19 and follow this policy.”
He advised Italians to stop all “economic activities and cut the mobility of people.”
Everyone should just stay at home, he added.