Italy recorded fewer than 1,000 COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) for the first time since March 10, in more than 2 months on May 12, the civil protection agency said in a press conference. With the third consecutive day that witnessed less percentage of fatalities, Italy's overall death toll maintained a slower trend, although, the numbers surged to 200 from the previous day165.
A few weeks ago, the COVID-19 patients in need of critical care throughout the country peaked at 4,068 overburdening the Intensive Care Units and exhausting the availability of the ventilators. At that time, around April 3, Italy’s healthcare system was on point of collapse with northern Lombardy as the epicenter of the outbreak, according to reports. Furthermore, Italy doctors were forced to prioritize ICU care for patients with the best chance of survival.
Medics at the heart of Italy's coronavirus outbreak were quoted as saying that the hospitals were under “immense pressure” and had to make a choice. Mauro D'Ambrosio, a healthcare worker at Fatebenefratelli Hospital in Milan said, “If we understand the patient has a severe health issue to the point of having no chance to live and we need to give the bed or divert resources to someone who has more chances to survive, then this is a choice that — despite being ethically hard to accept — from a clinical point of view can be done to give the possibility to survive to someone compared to someone who would have zero chance," as he spoke about overwhelming ICU patients at the hospital.
Italy’s health authorities were reported saying that the death toll shot up higher since some who died in nursing homes or in their own home, especially the elderly, had contracted the disease much earlier but were never tested. However, they brought to account a lower daily new case total in Lombardy, Italy's most stricken region since the pandemic hit.
Furthermore, they said that it will be later this week at earliest before they can assess if a limited easing of lockdown restrictions on citizens' movements, including the opening of public parks last week, has triggered an uptick in infections. The country, for now, was recording the lowest rate in deaths and ICU admissions, they said, in an address to the press conference.
(Image Credit: AP)