Italy has reportedly surpassed China as the country announced 86,498 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and at least 9,134 disease-related fatalities, recorded as of March 28. The country is now the second-worst hit from the pandemic, with death toll highest in the world. Over 10,950 people have recovered, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
According to reports, Italy’s healthcare system is in shackles and the lack of space to accommodate the new patients has rendered the medical facilities helpless. The crisis has worsened beyond control, claimed the health authorities. In a drastic measure, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced earlier on March 26 that Italy will extend the lockdown from the previous April 3 deadline. Spain, meanwhile, registered 5,138 deaths, surpassing China in the global death toll, making the country now second to Italy with people infected throughout 20 regions. The cases spiked by 50 per cent on March 8 alone as per the reports, as the country now has above the average mortality rate of 4 percent during the pandemic.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a televised address that the nationwide lockdown had major economic repercussions, businesses have all come to a standstill, and the growth was stagnant. According to Flavia Riccardo, a researcher in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Italian National Institute of Health, the virus had long arrived in Italy and was circulating way before the government discovered the first case, a media outlet reported. This happened around the time when the country was facing a peak of influenza, and citizens were showing influenza symptoms, he added.
A French daily gazette reported Stefano Paglia, the head of the emergency ward at a hospital in Codogno in northern Italy, saying that there was an unusually high number of pneumonia cases recorded ahead of the first COVID-19 patient’s admission in the hospital. Reports stated that the northern regions of Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna, have been most affected by the outbreak, home to 85% of infected patients, where 92% of deaths have been recorded so far. The pathogen eventually spread in all 20 regions of the country.