Italy has now become the deadlier centre of coronavirus outbreak
Coronavirus deaths in Italy reached 3,405, surpassing the number in China. In Italy, people are being treated in field hospitals and lined up in corridors inside its straining public hospitals. Doctors and nurses are being infected due to a lack of adequate protection.
The novel coronavirus has killed more people in Italy than in other country and it has now surpassed China for the most number of deaths related to Covid-19, making it the world's deadliest centre of the outbreak. The number of deaths in Italy reached 3,405 on Thursday -- which is more than in China where the virus originated last year.
At least 3,245 deaths were reported in China due to coronavirus, but there have been questions over the reliability of its data.The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy rose to 41,035 with 5,322 new cases on Thursday, officials said.
Italian soldiers transported corpses overnight from an overwhelmed cemetery in Europe's worst-hit nation. Germany's military was also preparing to help.
Italia city of Bergamo— Farhang F. Namdar (@FarhangNamdar) March 19, 2020
The military is deployed to help collect the dead bodies of Corona victims and cremate them as the local cemeteries are exhausted!! #coronavirus #COVID19 #COVID2019 #Covid_19 #CoronaVirusUpdate #italylockdown #Italy #COVIDー19 pic.twitter.com/viB2Ax53IX
Nurse: "I have never seen so many people die together before my eyes." #Italy— Steve Thompson (@SJThompsonPhD) March 20, 2020
Brace yourself, America. We're right behind Italy. Reality is over the next few weeks we are going to lose friends, partners, loved ones, family members, neighbors, and, some of us, even our own lives. https://t.co/b5jIRtdxEU
The grim figure comes hours after China marked a major milestone in the battle to limit the spread, reporting no new locally transmitted coronavirus cases for the first time since the pandemic began.
The coronavirus has so far killed over 10,000 people across the world and infected more than 250,000.
A lockdown imposed on March 12 in Italy has been extended beyond the original March 25 end date -- placing more than 60 million people under lockdown. Bars, restaurants and most shops have closed, as have schools and universities.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the lockdown helped prevent "the collapse of the system". But he told the Corriere della Sera newspaper that "we will not be able to return immediately to life as it was before" even when the measures were ended, the BBC reported.
Italy's world-class health system has been pushed to the brink amid the outbreak, especially in the country's north, which has seen the highest concentration of cases.
People are being treated in field hospitals and lined up in corridors inside its straining public hospitals. Doctors and nurses are being infected, due to a lack of adequate protection, reports say.
Italian authorities are considering lengthening school closures beyond April 3, amid rumors of the lockdown also being extended. "I think we are going towards an extension," Italian Education Minister Lucia Azzolina has said, adding that schools would reopen once there is "certainty of absolute safety."
Corriere della Sera quoted Conte as saying "it is clear" the measures to tackle the outbreak, "both the one that has closed a lot of the country's businesses and individual activities, and the one that concerns the school, can only be extended to the deadline." The Prime Minister's spokesperson told CNN no official decision had yet been taken.
Chinese medical experts helping the country deal with the crisis said the measures in the hard-hit Lombardy region are "not strict enough."
The situation "is similar to what we experienced two months ago in Wuhan, China, the epicentre of Covid-19," the Chinese Red Cross Vice President, Sun Shuopeng, said Thursday in a news conference in Milan, the region's capital.
"In the city of Wuhan after one month since the adoption of the lockdown policy, we see a decreasing trend from the peak of the disease," said Sun Shuopeng, according to CNN.
The northern region of Lombardy, on the frontline of the battle against the respiratory pandemic, has asked recently retired health workers to return to work and help colleagues overwhelmed by the crisis.
"I make a heartfelt appeal to all the doctors, nurses and medical personnel who have retired in the last two years...to help us in this emergency," regional Governor Attilio Fontana told a news conference.
Lombardy, like many regions, is rushing to build makeshift hospitals to add badly needed intensive-care units. However, the move is being complicated by the fact that doctors, nurses and hospital porters are themselves falling sick. Some have died.
The Gimbe Foundation research group, using data supplied by the national health authority, said that between March 11-17, some 2,529 health workers had been diagnosed with coronavirus -- 8.3% of the national total of coronavirus cases.