The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Italy has risen to 31,506, from 27,980 on Monday, Reuters reports.
The death toll also increased by 16% in the last 24 hours, by 345 to 2,503.
Following in the footsteps of Italy, the Spanish government has vowed to suspend mortgage payments for workers and self-employed affected by the coronavirus epidemic.
The government will also prohibit the cutting off of basic utilities such as electricity, water, gas and telecommunications for vulnerable groups during the crisis.
“These are extraordinary times and they require extraordinary measures,” Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, said as he unveiled what he described as the “greatest mobilisation of resources in Spain’s democratic history”.
A surge of recent cases in Spain have made it one of Europe’s hardest hit countries, with 491 deaths and 11,178 confirmed cases. The country has been in a near-total lockdown since Saturday.
Among the latest victims are 19 senior citizens who died after the virus spread throughout their care home in Madrid.
Companies across the country responded to the epidemic with plans to temporarily lay off at least 100,000 people, adding to the anxiety in a country where the unemployment rate already ranks among the highest in the industrialised world.
Under the measures promised by Sánchez, laid-off workers will be guaranteed unemployment benefits, while salaried workers will be able reduce their working hours or take time off to care for dependents.
Companies will be offered state-backed credit guarantees and unlimited liquidity lines, while €30m will be set aside for research on a Covid-19 vaccine.
The measures will cost a total of €200bn, or around 20% of the country’s gross domestic product, said Sánchez. Around €117bn euros will come from public coffers, with the rest from private funds, he added.