MILAN, March 9 (Reuters) - Italian designer Giorgio Armani has donated 1.25 million euros to four hospitals and the national Civil Protection Agency to help tackle Italy's coronavirus outbreak.
In just over two weeks the number of recorded cases in Italy has surged to 7,375 with 366 deaths, straining the health system.
Antonio Pesenti, head of the Lombardy regional crisis response unit, said the region's health system was "a step away from collapse" as intensive care facilities came under growing pressure from the new cases.
On Sunday, the government imposed a virtual lockdown on the northern region of Lombardy and parts of neighbouring Veneto to try to curb the spread of the virus in Italy, the hardest-hit country in Europe.
Armani donated through his fashion Group 1.25 million euros ($1.43 million) to three Milan-based hospitals and Rome's Spallanzani hospital as well as the Civil Protection Agency, a company spokeswoman said on Monday.
The group had revenues of 2.1 billion euros in 2018.
The majority of employees of the Milan-based group are working from home and its production sites are operating with as few people as possible, the spokeswoman said. (Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi; Editing by Janet Lawrence)
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