An Italian man has taken extreme measures to avoid contracting the coronavirus after wearing a giant disc to enforce social distancing.

On Wednesday, a video emerged of the man strolling along the streets of Rome wearing a giant cardboard disc to keep others at a distance from himself.

Speaking in Italian, one man asked: "And what would this be the security distance for?"

"For coronavirus!" the man responds, before the filmer jokes: "Wonderful. I can't cope!"

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In a clip shared to Twitter on Wednesday, he strolls along the streets of Rome wearing a giant disc in an attempt to enforce social distancing amid the global outbreak. Photo / Instagram
In a clip shared to Twitter on Wednesday, he strolls along the streets of Rome wearing a giant disc in an attempt to enforce social distancing amid the global outbreak. Photo / Instagram

The man was also seen entering the Testaccio market to go grocery shopping. He was able to successfully shop thanks to a claw tool typically used to pick up litter.

Italy's coronavirus death toll has topped 1000 as Europe becomes the new centre of the world's pandemic.

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In Italy's Lombardy region, the virus' hospitals were overwhelmed with both the sick and the dead.

"It's similar to what you might think of as an infectious disease equivalent of a major earthquake that's going to shake us for weeks and weeks," said Dr Jeff Duchin, a top public health official for the Seattle area, which has one of the biggest US coronavirus outbreaks.


Earlier this week, Italy implemented a nationwide lockdown in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has jumped in the last 24 hours by 189 to 1016, a rise of 23 per cent, the Civil Protection Agency said on Friday NZ time.

The total number of cases in Italy, the European country hardest hit by the virus, rose to 15,113 from a previous 12,462, an increase of 21.7 per cent.

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That marked the biggest daily rise in absolute terms since the contagion first came to light on February 21.