Italy overtakes China for coronavirus deaths while the virus is spreading further south
Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Italy, with a much smaller population than China, is now the nation with the most coronavirus deaths (Covid-19). Currently, it is known that 3,405 people have died in Italy compared with 3,245 in China. Therefore, the figure highlights the sheer enormity of the crisis for Italy.
Internationally, roughly 10,000 have died because of the coronavirus pandemic. This figure equally highlights the high percentage of deaths in Italy.
Equally alarming for Italy, it now appears that the coronavirus is spreading increasingly to other parts of this nation. Initially, the focus in Italy overwhelmingly focused on Lombardy and the surrounding environs. However, now the crisis is gradually reaching central and southern regions in increasing numbers.
The Guardian reports, “According to data from Italy’s civil protection authority, there were 823 cases of Covid-19 in Lazio as of Thursday night, compared with 102 on 9 March. In Campania, cases rose from 120 to 652 in 10 days, in Puglia from 50 to 478, in Sicily from 54 to 340, in Calabria from 11 to 169, and in the central Abruzzo region from 30 to 385.”
According to reports, it appears that the increasing upward curve to central and southern regions is primarily based on people leaving Lombardy. Hence, people fled Lombardy and the surrounding environs before the quarantine was enforced on March 8. Equally important, the country lockdown rules enabled a time lag because they were finally tightened a few days later.
The health care system is under enormous strain and this also applies to the numbers of available doctors and nurses who must be exhausted in the worse hit areas. Thus, Italy is going to allow student doctors to enter into full service during this horrendous period. Therefore, student doctors numbering roughly 10,000 won’t need to face their final exams because of the severity of the coronavirus crisis.
Reuters reports, “The crisis has pushed hospitals to breaking point at the epicenter of the contagion in northern Italy and left other regions scrambling to strengthen their own health systems as the number of infected rises nationwide.”
The fear now for Italy is that the number of deaths and people coming down with the virus will further increase throughout central and southern regions. Also, after cost-cutting measures shut down many hospitals in recent years in the south – and with this region being less prepared – then the crisis seems set to increase strains on the health care system of Italy.
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