The number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases has now jumped to over 215,000 and there have been nearly 9000 deaths.
Italy's death toll rose by 475 overnight - the biggest single-day increase anywhere since the crisis began.
In the city of Bergamo in the northeast, people are dying at a rate of 50 per day.
The region's governor is pleading for any medical personnel who have retired in the past two years to return to the job.
In the United Kingdom, all schools will close until further notice from Friday, although some students will still be able to attend.
"We, therefore, need schools to make provision for children of these key workers who would otherwise be forced to stay home," Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. 'Key workers' include government, hospital and police staff.
Working parents are now wondering who will look after their children and how they'll be fed without the free school lunches.
"When they're at school, you know that they've been fed, you don't have to worry about the extra. But when they're at home it just gets so expensive," one parent said.
Over in North America, the US and Canada have mutually agreed to close their border to all vehicles except essential traffic and trade.
"Travellers will no longer be permitted to cross the border for recreation and tourism details here," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
US President Donald Trump is invoking the Defense Production Act, meaning the private sector can be used to make essential medical equipment. He is also forecasting job losses not seen since the Great Depression.
"We had the best economy we've ever had. And one day you have to close it down in order to defeat this enemy," he said.
Navy hospital ships are being sent to New York and the west coast to make up for a shortage of hospital beds.
"In a sense a wartime president, I mean that's what we're fighting," Trump said.