Doctors of one of the hardest coronavirus-hit countries, Italy have warned the government against the policy of discharging the patients from hospitals who still carry the fatal COVID-19 to care homes is like nesting “biological bombs”. According to reports, Italian hospitals have over 28,000 people in hospitals including more than 4,000 in the intensive care unit. Therefore, in a bid to fasten the process of vacating hospitals beds, those who are unable to recover in isolation wards are being moved to care homes or requisitioned hotels.
As of April 1, while the global death toll of coronavirus infections reach 42,340, Italy has reported 105,792 confirmed cases of COVID-19 disease and 12,428 fatalities. In what being dubbed as the “silent massacre”, Italy has is currently suffering from the most severe blow of the pandemic resulting in overburdened medical staff, shortage of protective equipment and the rising rate of infections. According to reports, hundreds of people in the care homes are suspected to have contracted the virus and over 600 in the hard-hit Bergamo region itself.
The international news agency has quoted experts voicing serious concerns over the safety of approximately 300,000 residents in 7,000 care homes in Italy. Raffaele Antonelli Incalzi, head of Italian geriatric society SIGG told a news agency that in “war” with coronavirus, the authorities can not afford to expose themselves to the threat of new outbreaks repeating itself by turning care homes into “biological bombs” that spread the COVID-19. He further added that care homes beds are being utilised to ease the pressure on hospitals but that further puts the elderly residents at risk and they are also the “weakest links” in the ongoing pandemic.
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to tighten its grip around the world, new research has concluded that the fatality rate of COVID-19 is lower than what was previously estimated, however, it still remains largely lethal than normal flu. The study published in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases has estimated that at least 0.66 per cent of all those who are infected with the COVID-19 will die. The death rate is thus lower than previously expected by still larger than fatality rate of flu which kills 0.1 per cent of infected people.
In the recent study, the researchers tried to predict the “infection fatality rate” that means if everyone gets infected and not just the severe cases of COVID-19, how many people will die. However, the overall death rate which is about two-thirds of one per cent goes up for adults. For people who are 80 or older, the fatality rate is 7.8 per cent while the figure is 0.00161 per cent for those who are below the age of nine. Meanwhile, for 40-year-olds and younger, the death rate is 0.16 per cent.