Coronavirus sufferers have been left unconscious in the street as the killer disease rips through Italy.
Disturbing images of a man in a face mask lying unconscious on his back at a bus stop in Rome on Sunday came as Brits were seen flouting advice to enjoy the sun at crowded tourist spots.
The man was later taken away by an ambulance and it is unclear whether he is now in hospital or what his current condition is.
The photos surface as it was revealed the UK death toll is just a fortnight behind that in Italy, which last week became the new epicentre of the virus.
SEE ALSO :China virus cases spike, 17 new infections reported
Covid-19 has killed at least 336 in the UK, dwarfing the 233 that had died in Italy as of March 7.
In the 17 days since, the toll in Italy has risen to 6,077, including 602 new deaths on Monday alone – though the rate has dropped considerably since Saturday which saw 793 deaths while Sunday saw 651 die.
Announcing the move from No10 yesterday, Mr Johnson admitted: “No Prime Minister wants to enact measures like this.”
In a sombre address to the nation, he said: “I know the damage that this disruption is doing and will do to people’s lives, to their businesses and to their jobs.”
He added: “At present there are just no easy options.
SEE ALSO :China confirms virus spreading between humans
“The way ahead is hard, and it is still true that many lives will sadly be lost.”
The lockdown is being introduced by a Government regulation under the Public Health Control of Diseases Act 1984.
The PM spent days resisting mounting demands to trigger a Covid-19 shutdown.
Monday saw another 46 deaths in England, four in Wales and four in Scotland.
And the disease could kill up to 70,000 people unless lockdown measures are beefed-up, research suggests.
SEE ALSO :Factbox: What we know about the new coronavirus spreading in China and beyond
On Sunday, the PM had spoken about the catastrophic situation taking hold of the the Italian health system, warning the NHS could soon be in a similar position before announcing the lockdown.
“Unless we act together, unless we make the heroic and collective national effort to slow the spread – then it is all too likely that our own NHS will be similarly overwhelmed,” he said.
Mr Johnson described the Italian health-care system as “superb” but that their doctors and nurses are “completely overwhelmed”.
Italy has now seen more deaths from the pandemic than any other nation, with Monday seeing its official cases reach 63,928 – the majority in the northern region of Lombardy.
The army, meanwhile, has been deployed to transfer bodies to cemeteries, with photos from Bergamo showing military vehicles packed with coffins.
SEE ALSO :Travelers to be screened for ‘Chinese’ coronavirus- Government
Connor McAnish, a British doctor working in an ITU in northern Italy said he was seeing an “endless stream” of Covid-19 patients.
“They’ve had to build a tent outside the hospital [and] there are burials about every 30 minutes in the cemetery,” he told ITV.
“With so many patients coming in, when someone dies it’s almost as if we say, ‘Okay we couldn’t do anything for this person, now we can take another person and see if their condition will improve’.”
Response systems are also receiving in excess of 2,500 emergency calls per day.
The UK is the latest European country to bring in draconian measures in a bid to stem the flow of the virus.
It joins Spain, France and Italy in going into full lockdown, with Brits told to only leave home for essential food and medication, as well as once a day for exercise.
The police will be patrolling the streets and could slap UK residents with fines and issue dispersal orders for those deemed to be flouting the new drastic measures.
The coronavirus has infected more than 379,000 people globally and killed at least 16,500 since first breaking out in the Chinese city of Wuhan late December – though encouragingly over 102, 400 have officially recovered.
Do not miss out on the latest news. Join the Standard Digital Telegram channel HERE.