COVID-19 | Coronavirus

Italy overtakes China as the country with the most coronavirus deaths

Italy has now overtaken China as the country with the most coronavirus deaths after suffering an additional 427 deaths, bringing the total to 3,405

Italy has now overtaken China as the country with the most coronavirus deaths after suffering an additional 427 deaths, bringing the total number to 3,405.

The death toll and the number of confirmed cases have increased again today and the country has registered 41,035 infections, more than half of the positive cases worldwide.

Italy yesterday recorded the highest official one-day coronavirus death toll of any country with 475 deaths in just 24 hours.

The latest figures have dashed hopes that the unprecedented national foreclosure will help slow the spread of the pathogen.

Italy took this horrible step on the same day that the epicenter of the pandemic, Wuhan, in China, recorded no new infections.

Overall, China recorded 3,249 deaths Thursday, 156 fewer than Italy, according to the Johns Hopkins University virus map.

Italy has now overtaken China as the country with the most coronavirus deaths after suffering an additional 427 deaths, bringing the total to 3,405

The death toll and the number of confirmed cases have increased again today and the country has registered 41,035 infections, more than half of the positive cases worldwide. Pictured: Medical staff at work in the intensive care unit of Brescia hospital, Italy

The death toll and the number of confirmed cases have increased again today and the country has registered 41,035 infections, more than half of the positive cases worldwide. Pictured: Medical staff at work in the intensive care unit of Brescia hospital, Italy

The latest figures have dashed hopes that the unprecedented national foreclosure will help slow the spread of the pathogen. In the photo: intensive care unit of the hospital in Brescia, Italy

The latest figures have dashed hopes that the unprecedented national foreclosure will help slow the spread of the pathogen. In the photo: intensive care unit of the hospital in Brescia, Italy

The number of daily cases in Italy was fairly stagnant at the start of this week, standing at around 3,500 new patients per day.

Tuesday’s increase in the overall tally was 12.6%, the second lowest rate since the virus began spreading in Italy on February 21 – raising hopes that the lockdown will pay off as the number of deaths increased from 345 to 2,503.

Italians were ordered to stay indoors, schools and universities closed, shops closed, except grocery stores and pharmacies, and heavy travel restrictions.

But the country’s health system was overwhelmed by the virus, and a visiting Chinese Red Cross team on Thursday criticized the inability of the Italians to quarantine and take the national foreclosure seriously.

It comes after military trucks were deployed across Italy to transport dozens of caskets of victims to be cremated while scary images also emerged of patients laid out on hospital beds along the corridors of a unit of intensive care in Bergamo.

The crisis highlights how the health services in northern Italy have been overwhelmed by the pandemic, with doctors describing hospitals in crisis and many doctors working in makeshift tents.

The governor of Lombardy, the most affected region that includes Bergamo, said that doctors and nurses in hospitals in the region were at their limits.

New cases per day in Italy: the number of daily cases was fairly stagnant at the beginning of this week, standing at around 3,500 new patients per day

New cases per day in Italy: the number of daily cases was fairly stagnant at the beginning of this week, standing at around 3,500 new patients per day

I am separating images taken at the San Marco di Zingonia hospital in Bergamo, patients lying on beds piled up in the corridor of the intensive care unit

I am separating images taken at the San Marco di Zingonia hospital in Bergamo, patients lying on beds piled up in the corridor of the intensive care unit

A patient in an overcrowded hospital in Bergamo, who has had more than 4,000 cases of coronavirus and at least 93 deaths

A patient in an overcrowded hospital in Bergamo, who has had more than 4,000 cases of coronavirus and at least 93 deaths

A ventilator patient at the hospital in Bergamo where a large number of patients suffer from respiratory problems

A ventilator patient at the hospital in Bergamo where a large number of patients suffer from respiratory problems

“I am worried about the possibility that they may succumb physically and psychologically because if they succumb, it would be really a disaster,” said the director of the cemetery Angeloni on Italian radio.

In separate images taken at the San Marco di Zingonia hospital in Bergamo, patients lie on beds piled up in the hallway of the intensive care unit.

The video shows ventilated patients in overcrowded rooms, showing how the crisis has overwhelmed even the high-quality healthcare services in northern Italy.

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Italian media reports indicate that the hospital treats a large number of urgent cases of Covid-19 and that many patients are said to suffer from serious respiratory problems.

Meanwhile, the deceased’s coffins were taken away in a fleet of army trucks last night after a cemetery in northern Italy was overwhelmed by the death toll.

The column of army vehicles brought out the dead from Bergamo on Wednesday evening in what the Italians called “ one of the saddest photos in the history of our country ”.

The cemetery, like the hospital, in Bergamo can no longer cope with the growing number of dead in the city, where more than 4,300 people have been infected and at least 93 have died.

The morgues are full and the crematorium staff treat 24 bodies a day, including the regular rate of non-virus deaths, which means that the bodies of the victims of the virus had to be shipped to neighboring provinces.

A medical worker wearing a protective mask and coveralls treats a patient with coronavirus disease in Cremona today

A medical worker wearing a protective mask and coveralls treats a patient with coronavirus disease in Cremona today

A triage service at Spedali di Brescia hospital in northern Italy, which was the most affected region in Italy

A triage service at Spedali di Brescia hospital in northern Italy, which was the most affected region in Italy

99% of people who have died from the virus have had previous health problems

So far, 99% of deaths from the Italian virus are patients who had previous health problems, according to a study by the country’s health authority.

Research on 355 deaths has shown that only three of the victims, 0.8%, had no pre-existing health problems.

Almost half of them – 48.5% – had at least three health problems before being infected with a coronavirus.

25.6% had two other “pathologies”, while 25.1% had one.

The research is consistent with previous findings that people with existing medical conditions are more likely to die if they get the coronavirus.

According to the Italian study, the most common problems are high blood pressure and heart disease.

According to the study, 76.1% of the deceased patients had already had high blood pressure problems.

More than a third – 35.5% – suffered from diabetes, while 33.0% suffered from ischemic heart disease.

Almost a quarter, or 24.5%, suffered from atrial fibrillation.

Less common examples were dementia and liver disease.

The study also found that the average age of people who died from the virus was 79.5 years.

Again, this is consistent with previous findings that older adults are more vulnerable to the disease.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has now warned that the quarantine measures “must be extended beyond their original date”. Some were initially due to expire next Wednesday.

An army spokesman confirmed today that 15 trucks and 50 soldiers have been deployed to move bodies to neighboring provinces.

Italian media reported that there were around 70 coffins in last night’s dark procession as the bodies were transported from the crematorium to the highway and out of Bergamo.

Giacomo Angeloni, the local head of cemeteries in Bergamo, said earlier this week that the crematorium handled around 24 bodies a day, almost double its normal maximum.

Local authorities in Bergamo had asked for help with the cremations after being overwhelmed by the death toll.

The pews in the crematorium church have been removed to make room for dozens of coffins, but more are arriving every day.

An Italian who saw the image of a column of trucks said that it was “one of the saddest photos in the history of our country”, while another said that it was a “War photo”.

“We are Italians and it is in times like these that we bring out the best in us. We will get out and we will do it for them too, ”said one.

Italy recorded a record 4,207 cases and 475 deaths yesterday, dashing hopes that quarantine would start to slow the rate of infections.

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The 475 new deaths in Italy are the largest number that any country, even China, has reported in a single day since the start of the epidemic late last year.

The previous record of 368 deaths was also recorded Sunday in Italy.

However, officials warn that there is a lag between the imposition of the lockdown and its effects that become noticeable in the numbers.

A medical worker wearing a mask and protective suit works in a Cremona hospital today

A medical worker wearing a mask and protective suit works in a Cremona hospital today

Italian soldiers, some of whom wore face masks, gathered next to some of their trucks in Bergamo yesterday, where staff at the local crematorium handled 24 bodies a day.

Italian soldiers, some of whom wore face masks, gathered next to some of their trucks in Bergamo yesterday, where staff at the local crematorium handled 24 bodies a day.

Italian army trucks were parked next to a monument in Bergamo yesterday as they prepared to exit the city's coffins. At least 93 people died of coronaviruses in Bergamo and more than 4,000 were infected

Italian army trucks were parked next to a monument in Bergamo yesterday as they prepared to exit the city’s coffins. At least 93 people died of coronaviruses in Bergamo and more than 4,000 were infected

A fleet of army trucks on a highway in Bergamo last night, carrying the coffins of coronavirus victims out of town after the local cemetery was overwhelmed by the death toll from the virus

A fleet of army trucks on a highway in Bergamo last night, carrying the coffins of coronavirus victims out of town after the local cemetery was overwhelmed by the death toll from the virus

Army vehicles drive along a Bergamo road viewed from the window of a nearby building, emerging from the city coffins

Army vehicles drive along a Bergamo road viewed from the window of a nearby building, emerging from the city coffins

“The key is not to give up,” said Silvio Brusaferro, director of the Italian National Institute of Health, at a national television press conference.

“It will take a few days to see the benefits” of the containment measures, said Brusaferro.

“We must maintain these measures to see their effect, and above all to protect the most vulnerable.”

Imposed at national level on March 12, the closure of most Italian businesses and the ban on public gatherings were initially due to expire on March 25 and the schools closed until April 3.

Italian soldiers talk to people at the entrance to the cemetery of Bergamo, where bodies had to be removed from the city because the undertakers and crematorium staff could not cope

Italian soldiers talk to people at the entrance to the cemetery of Bergamo, where bodies had to be removed from the city because the undertakers and crematorium staff could not cope

The army intervenes to move the bodies of the main cemetery of Bergamo, in Lombardy which was the most affected by the health crisis in Italy

The army intervenes to move the bodies of the main cemetery of Bergamo, in Lombardy which was the most affected by the health crisis in Italy

Army trucks hit Bergamo road yesterday in what the Italians described as one of the saddest images in the country's history

Army trucks hit Bergamo road yesterday in what the Italians described as one of the saddest images in the country’s history

An Italian soldier carries a bag in each hand while police wearing masks are also on the scene near the cemetery

An Italian soldier carries a bag in each hand while police wearing masks are also on the scene near the cemetery

Army spokesman confirmed today that 15 trucks and 50 soldiers, some of whom are shown, were deployed to move bodies from Bergamo to neighboring provinces

Army spokesman confirmed today that 15 trucks and 50 soldiers, some of whom are shown, were deployed to move bodies from Bergamo to neighboring provinces

The morgues are full and the crematorium staff handle 24 bodies a day, including the regular rhythm of death without viruses

The coffins are placed in a chapel in a cemetery in Bergamo, where the crematorium staff treated 24 bodies a day, including the regular drumming of virus-free deaths

Prohibited layoffs and reduced rents in the Italian economic plan

Companies cannot fire workers, and rents have been cut as part of Italy’s economic survival plan.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte hailed his program by 127 points, or 25 billion euros (23 billion pounds sterling), as the “Italian model” that the rest of Europe could adopt.

Companies are prohibited from dismissing workers for the next two months without “objective justified reasons”, while self-employed and seasonal workers such as tour guides will receive € 600.

The government will also cover € 100 in bonuses for low-wage workers.

Families receive € 600 vouchers to cover the rental costs of baby-sitters, with schools and kindergartens being closed for the last few weeks.

Self-employed workers who have to take care of their children will receive “parental leave” allowances covering half of their declared monthly income.

Conte closed all of its activities except pharmacies and grocery stores for two weeks starting March 12.

The government is compensating owners of closed stores by offering them tax credits to cover 60% of their March rent.

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The self-employed and the self-employed with residential mortgages can request the suspension of their payments for a maximum period of 18 months if they can prove that their income has decreased by a third.

Various taxes and social service payments are suspended for the sectors and professions deemed to be the most affected by the crisis.

The government is also sending 20 million euros to repair damage to prisons by rioters worried about the new disease.

The Italian sports federations benefit from fiscal privileges of four months and 130 million euros will go to support cinemas and the cinematographic industry.

But Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said today that the lockdown would be extended beyond the April 3 deadline.

“The measures we have taken … must be extended beyond their original date,” Conte told the Thursday edition of the newspaper Corriere della Sera.

A senior government minister hinted yesterday that the school’s closure could be extended until next month, if not more.

Authorities have said that tougher measures may be necessary because too many people do not follow the order to stay at home, unless it is necessary.

The Italian National Research Council (CNR) says it expects a “significant reduction” in the growth rate of new infections in the Lombardy region by next Tuesday or Wednesday.

The northern region, of around 10 million people, has been at the epicenter of the crisis from the start, reporting two-thirds of all deaths in the country, or 60 million people.

It has been locked since March 8.

Noting that infections are starting to increase in the south, where many Italians have moved after containment measures have started in the north, the CNR predicts that the numbers across Italy will not stabilize until March 25 and April 15.

It is feared that the health system in the poorest countries of the South is entirely incapable of coping with an epidemic of the magnitude from which the North has suffered.

Rates in Italy itself remained stable yesterday, with two-thirds of deaths – 1959 in total – reported in the northern Lombardy region around Milan, the Italian capital of finance and fashion.

The neighboring region of Emilia-Romagna, Bologna, killed a total of 458 and the Piedmont region of Turin killed 154.

The Lazio region in Rome has 32 dead and 724 infections.

Doctors on the front lines of the coronavirus epidemic in Italy have described “catastrophic” scenes in hospitals creaking with the volume of cases.

It is feared that the health system in the poorest countries of the South is entirely incapable of coping with an epidemic of the magnitude from which the North has suffered.

More than 2,600 medical workers have been infected with a coronavirus in Italy – 8.3% of the total number of cases in the country, it emerged last night.

The figures were released by a health foundation which said the “large number” of infected doctors showed that the doctors’ protective procedures and equipment were “still inadequate”.

Hospital workers prepare coffins on Tuesday at the Ponte San Pietro hospital in Bergamo, in the province of Lombardy which has been the most affected region of Italy

Hospital workers prepare coffins on Tuesday at the Ponte San Pietro hospital in Bergamo, in the province of Lombardy which has been the most affected region of Italy

The problem is much worse than in China, because “8.3% represents more than double the percentage of the Chinese cohort”, said the president of the Gimbe foundation, Nino Cartabellotta, to the Italian media.

According to figures, which are taken from official data, the number of infected doctors has increased by more than 1,500 in the past eight days alone.

The figure of 2,629 infected medical professionals means that almost 0.3% of Italian health workers have contracted the disease – taking them out of service when they desperately need it.

“No need to speak: protect those who must protect us adequately,” insisted Cartabellotta last night.

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