Coronavirus prison riot kills 23 as inmates beg to be freed before COVID-19 hits

A coronavirus prison riot has left 23 inmates dead and 83 injured – as desperate lags plea to be freed before COVID-19 tears through the population.

Seven guards were injured, with two left in critical condition after the uprising at Colombia’s Bogota prison.

The riot started when prison bosses refused to agree to better sanitary conditions in the crumbling jail.

Colombia is expected to go into a nationwide lockdown from Tuesday night after 231 people tested positive.

Two Colombians are believed to have died after contracting the deadly bug.

One victim, a 58-year-old taxi driver, was infected after transporting two Italian tourists in his cab.

A health ministry spokesman said: "On March 4 he transported Italian tourists in his vehicle and two days later presented the first symptoms.”

Italy has become the European epicentre of the outbreak, with 793 people dying in 24 hours alone.

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.

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More than 300,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus worldwide and over 13,000 have died so far.

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.

I t 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.

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