THE mayor of an Italian city dubbed Europe's coronavirus epicentre has flown his daughter home after saying she is safer there than where she is studying - in Taunton.

Giorgio Gori is the mayor of Bergamo, near Milan, and has spoken about keeping his family and community safe during the pandemic.

Mr Gori imposed a lockdown on his city and has hit out at countries who have not acted quickly on strongly enough to try and contain Covid-19.

More than 6,000 people have died in Italy, while 335 people have died in UK from the illness so far.

Talking to Sky News, Mr Gori said: "I have two daughters, they are studying in England, one in Taunton in college and the other in Canterbury, she's doing a Masters.

"And when I saw what the English government was thinking about this problem, I decided to bring them back because I think that even if we are at the centre of the epidemic probably they are more secure here than in England, because I don't understand why the government didn't decide in time to protect their citizens."

In Italy, declines in both new cases and deaths for a second consecutive day have provided a faint glimmer of hope.

Officials said yesterday (March 23) that the virus had claimed just over 600 more lives, down from 793 two days earlier.

The country has also seen at least 18 doctors with coronavirus die.