Europe saw a ray of hope for at least two days when Italy's death toll declined gradually, but on Tuesday, things took a sharp turn once more as the European epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak reported a spike in new deaths once more.
Italy Sees Over 740 Deaths
The Italian government confirmed that 743 people succumbed to the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the country's total death toll to 6,820. The new deaths mark a sharp turnaround in what was supposed to be the road to recovery.
According to Al Jazeera America, head of the Civil Protection Agency in Italy Angelo Borrelli noted that there could be more in terms of total CoVID-19 infections in the country, considering that tests are only being done on people with severe symptoms.
Borrelli said he believes there could be around 700,000 people already infected with the novel virus, echoing earlier statements from health experts who said there are asymptomatic people around the world who have yet to be tested.
Italy now has a total of 69,176 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Tuesday.
Spain Sees Over 500 Deaths
Spain is gradually catching up to Italy in the number of deaths from the highly-infectious disease. On Tuesday, the government confirmed 514 more deaths in the past 24 hours.
Health authorities in the country are now ramping up CoVID-19 testing to determine the true extent of infection among citizens. Compared to Monday, the new deaths indicate a hike of 23.5 percent from Monday, The Local Spain reported.
Madrid has the most infections in the entire country, with the number of confirmed cases reaching 12,352 as of Tuesday, and 1,535 deaths.
Spain now has a total of 39,673 confirmed CoVID-19 cases and 2,696 deaths.
British Government Mulls Release of Prisoners
British Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said late Tuesday that the government is considering whether releasing some prisoners from jails in Wales and England will help curb the potential spread of the novel coronavirus in crowded spaces such as prisons.
According to BBC, Buckland argued that letting some offenders go free temporarily will "alleviate" the pressure on overcrowded jails. He noted that on Tuesday, around 10 percent of the prison workforce did not go to work due to health issues or self-isolation requirements.
Despite the discussions on potential release of some prisoners, Buckland clarified that probation staff will be challenged with gauging which offenders should be released temporarily should the government decide to ease up on overcrowded prisons.
As of Tuesday, the United Kingdom reported around 8,077 confirmed CoVID-19 cases and 422 deaths.
German State Imposes Fines on CoVID-19 Restrictions
Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia on Tuesday announced fines for people who violate the country's coronavirus-related restrictions.
According to The Local Germany, the state said citizens who violate new CoVID-19 measures will face up to €25,000 or approximately $27,000 in fines as part of stricter guidelines on preventing further infections in the state.
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populated state in Germany and also has the highest coronavirus cases in the country at over 8,700. The state also recorded 45 deaths from the fast-spreading disease.
Germany now has at least 32,991 confirmed CoVID-19 cases and over 150 deaths.
France Passes 1,000 Mark in CoVID-19 Deaths
French director general of Health Jerome Salomon confirmed on Tuesday that France now has 1,100 deaths from the novel coronavirus, FRANCE24 reported.
Aside from 240 new deaths in the country on Tuesday, France also recorded an increase of 2,444 coronavirus cases in a single day.
The country has been on a lockdown since March 17, with French President Emmanuel Macron also announcing steep fines for people who violate the lockdown rules. It remains to be seen when the lockdown will end at this point.
France now has a total of 22,300 confirmed CoVID-19 cases.
Norway Extends Lockdown
Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Tuesday that the strict measures on coronavirus prevention in the country will be extended until after Easter as the Norwegian government continues to fend off the CoVID-19 strain.
Solberg said at a press briefing that the strict measures will be in place until at least April 13, The Local Norway reported. The lockdown initially set to end Thursday, March 26.
As of Tuesday, Norway recorded a total of 2,566 coronavirus cases and 12 deaths. The country has tested at least 70,806 people for potential infection.
Sweden Retains Softer Approach in CoVID-19 Management
Sweden has yet to enforce draconian measures despite increasing coronavirus cases across the country and all throughout Europe, Deutsche Welle reported.
Some governments have called on the country to implement stricter measures, especially in terms of social distancing and banning of large group gatherings. However, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has yet to announce tighter regulations.
Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that Sweden has at least 2,200 confirmed CoVID-19 cases and around 36 deaths as of Tuesday.