This Country Death Toll Overtakes China CoronaVirus deaths

Italy Death Toll Overtakes China Coronavirus deaths

Italy has now overtaken China as the country with the most coronavirus deaths after suffering 427 more fatalities, taking the total number to 3,405 as at Today March 19th 2020 reports Daily Mail Uk

The latest figures have squashed hopes that the unprecedented national lockdown was helping to slow the spread of the pathogen.

The death toll in China, where the coronavirus started, currently stands at 3,249.

It comes after military trucks were deployed across Italy to transport scores of victims’ coffins to be cremated as chilling footage also emerged of patients laid out on hospital beds along the corridors of an intensive care unit in Bergamo.  The crisis is underlining how health services in northern Italy have been overwhelmed by the pandemic, with doctors describing hospitals in crisis and many medics working from makeshift tents.

The governor of Lombardy, the worst-affected region which includes Bergamo, said doctors and nurses in the region’s hospitals were at their limits.

I separate footage taken at the San Marco di Zingonia hospital in Bergamo, patients are seen lying on beds which are crammed into the corridor of the intensive care unit

I separate footage taken at the San Marco di Zingonia hospital in Bergamo, patients are seen lying on beds which are crammed into the corridor of the intensive care unit

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

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

A patient on a ventilator at the hospital in Bergamo where a large number of patients have been suffering respiratory problems

A patient on a ventilator at the hospital in Bergamo where a large number of patients have been suffering respiratory problems

‘I’m worried about the possibility they could succumb physically and psychologically because if they were to succumb, it would really be a disaster,’ cemetery director Angeloni told Italian radio.

In separate footage taken at the San Marco di Zingonia hospital in Bergamo, patients are seen lying on beds which are crammed into the corridor of the intensive care unit.

The video shows patients on ventilators in overcrowded rooms, showing how the crisis has overwhelmed even the high-quality health service in northern Italy.

Italian media says the hospital is handling a large number of urgent Covid-19 cases, and many patients are said to have serious breathing problems.

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

Prime minister Giuseppe Conte has now warned that quarantine measures ‘must be extended beyond their original deadline’. Some had initially been due to expire as early as next Wednesday.  An army spokesman confirmed today that 15 trucks and 50 soldiers had been deployed to move bodies to neighbouring provinces.

Italian media said there were around 70 coffins in the grim procession last night as the bodies were taken from the crematorium to the highway and out of Bergamo.  Giacomo Angeloni, the local official in charge of cemeteries in Bergamo, said earlier this week that the crematorium was handling around 24 bodies a day, almost twice its normal maximum. Local authorities in Bergamo had appealed for help with cremations after being overwhelmed by the death toll.

The pews of the crematorium church have been removed to leave space to lay out scores of coffins but more have been arriving every day.

One Italian who saw the picture of a column of trucks said it was ‘one of the saddest photos in the history of our country’, while another said it was a ‘photo of war’.

‘We are Italians and it is at times like these that we bring out the best in us. We will get out of it and we will do it for them too,’ one said.  Italy recorded a record 4,207 cases and 475 deaths yesterday, scuppering hopes that the quarantine was starting to stall the rate of infections.

Italy’s 475 new deaths are the largest number that any country, even China, has reported in a single day since the outbreak began late last year.

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

However, officials warn there is a lag time between the lockdown being imposed and its effects becoming noticeable in the figures.

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

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

Italian soldiers, some of them wearing face masks, gather next to some of their trucks in Bergamo yesterday where local crematorium staff have been handling 24 bodies a day

Italian soldiers, some of them wearing face masks, gather next to some of their trucks in Bergamo yesterday where local crematorium staff have been handling 24 bodies a day

Italian army trucks are parked next to a monument in Bergamo yesterday as they prepared to take coffins out of the city. At least 93 people have died of coronavirus in Bergamo and more than 4,000 have been infected

Italian army trucks are parked next to a monument in Bergamo yesterday as they prepared to take coffins out of the city. At least 93 people have died of coronavirus in Bergamo and more than 4,000 have been infected

A fleet of army trucks on a highway in Bergamo last night, transporting the coffins of coronavirus victims out of the city after the local cemetery became overwhelmed by the virus death toll

A fleet of army trucks on a highway in Bergamo last night, transporting the coffins of coronavirus victims out of the city after the local cemetery became overwhelmed by the virus death toll

The army vehicles drive along a Bergamo road as seen from the window of a nearby building, taking coffins out of the city

The army vehicles drive along a Bergamo road as seen from the window of a nearby building, taking coffins out of the city

‘The main thing is, do not give up,’ Italian National Institute of Health chief Silvio Brusaferro said in a nationally televised press conference.

‘It will take a few days before we see the benefits’ of containment measures, said Brusaferro.

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

Imposed nationally on March 12, the shutdown of most Italian businesses and a ban on public gatherings were initially due to expire on March 25 with schools shut until April 3.

But prime minister Giuseppe Conte said today that the lockdown will be extended beyond the April 3 deadline.

‘The measures we have taken… must be extended beyond their original deadline,’ Conte told Thursday’s edition of the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

A top government minister hinted yesterday that the school closure could be extended well into next month, if not longer.

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

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

Officials have said tougher measures could be needed because too many people are not respecting the order to stay at home unless necessary.

Italy’s 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 10million people has been at the epicentre of the crisis since the start, reporting two thirds of all the deaths in the nation of 60 million.

It has been under lockdown since March 8.

Noting that infections are starting to rise in the south, where many Italians moved after the start of containment measures in the north, the CNR predicts that figures across Italy will only stabilise between March 25 and April 15.

There have been fears that the health system of the poorer south would be entirely unable to cope with an outbreak on the scale which the north has suffered.

The rates within Italy itself remained stable yesterday, with two-thirds of the deaths – 1,959 in all – reported in the northern Lombardy region around Milan, the Italian financial and fashion capital.

The neighbouring Emilia-Romagna region of Bologna has suffered a total of 458 fatalities, and Turin’s Piedmont region has had 154 deaths.

Rome’s Lazio region has a toll of 32 deaths and 724 infections.

Doctors on the front line of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak have described ‘catastrophic’ scenes in hospitals which are creaking with the sheer volume of cases.

There have been fears that the health system of the poorer south would be entirely unable to cope with an outbreak on the scale which the north has suffered.

More than 2,600 medical workers have been infected with coronavirus in Italy – 8.3 per cent of the country’s total cases, it emerged last night.

The figures were released by a health foundation which said the ‘huge number’ of infected medics showed that procedures and protection equipment for doctors were ‘still inadequate’.

The problem is far worse than in China, because ‘8.3 per cent is more than double the percentage of the Chinese cohort’, the Gimbe foundation’s president Nino Cartabellotta told Italian media.

According to the figures, which are drawn from official data, the number of infected medics has risen by more than 1,500 just in the last eight days.

The figure of 2,629 infected medical professionals means that nearly 0.3 per cent of Italy’s health workers have caught the disease – taking them out of service when they are desperately needed.

‘No more talking: adequately protect those who must protect us,’ Cartabellotta urged last night.

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