Left Menu
Development News Edition

Italy suffers setback to hopes its coronavirus epidemic might be in retreat

Reuters | Rome | Updated: 27-03-2020 00:51 IST | Created: 27-03-2020 00:45 IST
Italy suffers setback to hopes its coronavirus epidemic might be in retreat

Hopes that Italy's coronavirus epidemic might be in retreat suffered a setback on Thursday when data showed that both the number of new cases and deaths had ticked higher, underscoring how hard it is to halt the disease. Officials said 712 people died of the illness in the last 24 hours, pushing the total tally to 8,215, well over double that seen in anywhere else in the world, while new infections rose by 6,153 to 80,539.

The number of cases is nudging close to the more than 81,000 infections recorded in China where the pandemic began. The relentless rise in Italy is despite stringent lockdown measures introduced progressively since Feb. 23 to try to stop the spread, which authorities had hoped would be having more of an effect by now.

There had been slight declines in both new cases and deaths earlier this week, but the northern region of Lombardy, the epicentre of the outbreak, saw its numbers climb on Thursday. "I do not know if we have hit the peak or if we have missed something ... all I can say is that I am worried," Lombardy governor Attilio Fontana told reporters, adding that the situation would soon become clearer.

"I think that in two or three days we will understand if the measures we have taken are working," he said. However, he warned that when new cases finally receded, the government would not necessarily be able to relax the lockdown, which is due to be lifted on April 3.

"Even if the number of cases declines, I think we will have to carry on with (the restrictions) until we are quite certain that this contagion has been stopped." The situation appeared particularly worrying in Lombardy's capital Milan, which is also Italy's financial hub, where new infections jumped by more than 800 to almost 7,000.

Only the neighbouring provinces of Bergamo and Brescia have a higher number of cases. Highlighting the scale of the drama, Bergamo said that over the last 10 years it had recorded on average 45 deaths a week. This ticked up to 64 at the end of February and then soared, hitting a peak of 313 deaths between March 15-21.

ANXIETY IN THE SOUTH The disease has also taken a heavy toll amongst medical workers, with the national federation of doctors and surgeons saying on Thursday that 40 doctors had so far died, many of the general practitioners in northern towns and cities.

Italy's less developed south is growing increasingly anxious as it sees its own numbers push up, with several regions reporting growth rates in new cases that are above the national average. In an open letter to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the head of the Campania region, which is centred on Naples, warned of impending disaster.

"At this point, there is the real prospect that Lombardy's tragedy is about to become the south's tragedy," Vincenzo De Luca wrote. "We are on the cusp of a major expansion of infections that we might not be able to manage."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Ayurveda for COVID 19: Professionals owe the responsibility to protect it from quacks and fake news

Indian Ayurveda professionals are lagging behind their foreign counterparts in handling quacks and protecting credentials of the Ayurveda at the time of COVID 19 pandemic. The professionals of Ayurveda cannot abjure the responsibility to co...

Education post-coronavirus: Schools to rush for more digitalization

Digital education would undoubtedly boom in the post-coronavirus world, supported by educational institutions that have discovered its efficiency during the crisis, but it is still not expected to outshine traditional classroom learning....

Public health care post-COVID 19 to go for revamping, not rebooting

Until now, the economies used to classify healthcare sector under social expenditure. However, the devastation caused by COVID 19 pandemic has upgraded public healthcare on topmost priority and core economic activity for controlling future ...

Coronavirus lockdowns to speed up long-pending revamping of supply chains

With millions of production lines impacted, business disruptions to some extent are unavoidable and the lessons learned from this turbulence will leave an everlasting impact on both global and local levels of supply chains....

Videos

Latest News

Bulgaria will have to raise $2.36 bln this year amid virus crisis -finance minister

The coronavirus crisis will prompt Bulgaria to raise 4.2 billion levs 2.36 billion in debt this year to finance an expected fiscal gap and pledges for loan guarantees to businesses, its finance minister said on Tuesday.Vladislav Goranov sai...

China delays college entrance exam as fears grow over risk of coronavirus second wave

China will delay its national college entrance exam by a month as it grapples with a coronavirus pandemic as travellers returning from abroad are fuelling new cases and boosting concern over the threat of a second wave of infections.The two...

'AI tool can predict which COVID-19 patients will develop respiratory disease'

Scientists have developed an artificial intelligence AI tool that may accurately predict which patients newly infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 would go on to develop severe respiratory disease. The study, published in the journa...

World's busiest border falls quiet with millions of Mexicans barred from U.S.

The worlds busiest land border has fallen quiet as restrictions to contain the coronavirus prevent millions of Mexicans from making daily trips north, including many who work in U.S. businesses.At least 4 million Mexicans residing in cities...

Give Feedback