Photos of a man lying unconscious on a road in Rome have emerged as the death toll in Italy from coronavirus continues to escalate.
The images of the man wearing a were taken on March 22 near a bus stop in Rome.
The man is seen wearing a face mask and later images show medical personnel attending to the man, lifting him onto a stretcher and putting him in an ambulance.
The man pictured has not been identified, nor has his condition been confirmed.
Italy continues to remain in lockdown to prevent further spread of COVID-19, but the number of related deaths continues to rise, surpassing China’s death toll last week.
Of the 378,601 confirmed cases worldwide, 63,927 of the cases are from across Italy, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.
More than 16,000 deaths due to COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, 6,077 of them just in Italy - almost double the total recorded in Hubei, China (3,153 deaths), where the outbreak was first detected.
On Monday (local time), Italy recorded a smaller day-to-day increase in new coronavirus cases for the second straight day, however experts are reluctant to say the worst is over.
There were just over 600 more virus-related deaths registered in Italy on Monday compared to 651 on Sunday.
Meanwhile the spread of the coronavirus is impacting those on the front line, overwhelming the country’s health system.
Of the 90 doctors who work at Italy’s Oglio Po hospital, 25 of them have been infected by the coronavirus.
Adding in nurses, technicians and other employees, a fifth of the hospital's personnel has tested positive, hospital director Daniela Ferrari told Reuters.
In Lombardy, the Italian region with the highest number of cases and deaths, at least two hospitals became vehicles of contamination.
There, patients infected medical staff who then spread the disease as they travelled around their communities before a stringent lockdown was imposed.
Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research director, Giuseppe Remuzzi, said that is one reason why the virus spread so quickly.
"Patients infected other patients and doctors, who then went out and contaminated others," Remuzzi said.
At a national level, 4268 health workers or 0.4 per cent of the total had contracted the virus as of March 20, according to the National Health Institute.
with Reuters and Associated Press
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.