Coronavirus has taken the lives of an additional 793 people in Italy, the most any country has recorded in a 24 hour period since the pandemic began.
Italy overtook China as the country with the most coronavirus -related deaths in the world on Thursday when it registered 3,405 dead.
Since then, a further 1,420 people have died as a result of the virus.
The devastating number comes days after concerned Italian doctors warned NHS staff medics could soon become overwhelmed and fall victim to the COVID-19.
Italy is said to be tracking two weeks behind the UK in terms of transmission rate, sparking fears the mortality in the UK could spike.
Currently, 233 people in the UK have died from the virus, with a confirmed 4,072 cases.
It comes after an Italian doctor warned the disease is like a “tsunami that has swept us all.”
Officials have placed the 60million inhabitants under a nationwide lockdown in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.
Dr Daniele Macchini, who works at the Humanitas Gavazzeni hospital in the city of Bergamo, penned a long Facebook post in which he reveals the grim reality of the public health crisis.
"After much thought about whether and what to write about what is happening to us, I felt that silence was not responsible," Dr Macchini wrote in his post, which has been translated by Dr Silvia Stringhini, an epidemiologist and researcher at the Geneva University's Institute of Global Health.
He said: "I will therefore try to convey to people far from our reality what we are living in Bergamo in these days of Covid-19 pandemic. I understand the need not to create panic, but when the message of the dangerousness of what is happening does not reach people I shudder."
Bergamo has been one of the worst-affected areas, with 1,245 people diagnosed with coronavirus.
"I myself watched with some amazement the reorganisation of the entire hospital in the past week, when our current enemy was still in the shadows: the wards slowly 'emptied,' elective activities were interrupted," Dr Macchini wrote in his chilling post, which has since been shared more than 29,000 times.
"All this rapid transformation brought an atmosphere of silence and surreal emptiness to the corridors of the hospital that we did not yet understand, waiting for a war that was yet to begin and that many (including me) were not so sure would ever come with such ferocity.
"I still remember my night call a week ago when I was waiting for the results of a swab.
"When I think about it, my anxiety over one possible case seems almost ridiculous and unjustified, now that I've seen what's happening. Well, the situation now is dramatic to say the least.
"The war has literally exploded and battles are uninterrupted day and night.
"But now that need for beds has arrived in all its drama. One after the other the departments that had been emptied fill up at an impressive pace.
"The boards with the names of the patients, of different colors depending on the operating unit, are now all red and instead of surgery you see the diagnosis, which is always the damned same: bilateral interstitial pneumonia."
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Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced further measures to try and contain the spread of coronavirus on Thursday last week.
He said all shops, restaurants and cafés will be closed 24/7 and businesses and factories will have to limit activities.
Mr Conte said wherever it is possible employees should work from home or encourage staff to take holiday.
Food and drug stores, as well as post offices and banks, will remain open.
Public transport will continue to run, the new measures will last for two weeks and will be reviewed.
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