Italy’s death Toll passes China, On Thursday it surpassed China for the most number of deaths related to COVID-19. The number of deaths in Italy reached 3,405. The total number of cases in the country rose to 41,035 on Thursday, which includes 5,322 new cases, the Italian Civil Protection Agency said in a press conference.
As China’s current number of deaths is 3,242, according to the World Health Organization, Italy has become the deadliest centre of the COVID-19 outbreak.
UN and Italian health authorities have cited a variety of reasons for Italy’s high toll, key among them its large elderly population that is particularly susceptible to developing serious complications from the virus. Italy has the world’s second-oldest population after Japan’s and the vast majority of Italy’s dead — 87 per cent — were over age 70.
The American death toll rose to 149, primarily elderly people.
Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, a virologist at Germany’s Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, said Italy’s high death rate could be explained in part by the almost total collapse of the health system in some parts.
“And then people die who wouldn’t have died with timely intervention,” he said. “That’s what happens when the health system collapses.”
On a visit to the northern city of Milan, the head of a Chinese Red Cross delegation helping advise Italy on the crisis said he was shocked to see so many people walking around the city, using public transportation, eating out in hotels and not taking other precautions.
PLEASE follow all the safety advice
— Rob Abdul (@robabdul) March 19, 2020
Yang Huichuan said that Wuhan only saw its infections peak after a month of a strictly enforced lockdown.
“Right now we need to stop all economic activity and we need to stop the mobility of people,” he said. “All people should be staying at home in quarantine.”
A total of 222,642 cases have been reported worldwide, with 9,115 deaths and 84,506 recoveries, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. Aside from the elderly and the sick, most people only have mild or moderate symptoms, like a fever or cough.
Europe has been hit the hardest
Europe is careening into the eye of the storm, Germany has 11000 cases, France has 10,000 cases.
The Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, Bruno Bruins, has resigned, one day after he collapsed during a parliamentary session.
Bruins was responsible for the Netherlands’ COVID-19 response. After collapsing Wednesday, Bruins tweeted last night that he had been suffering from “faintness because of over-exhaustion and intensive weeks.”
He said at the time that he was doing better, and was looking forward to “getting back to work to fight the corona crisis as well as possible.”
Until a new appointment is made, Minister Hugo de Jonge will take over Bruins’ responsibilities.
Spain has been the hardest hit European country after Italy, and in Madrid, a four-star hotel began operating as a makeshift hospital for coronavirus patients.
The director of the group that runs the Ayre GH Colon hotel tweeted: “365 rooms more to help win the war.” The Madrid Hotel Business Association says it has placed 40 hotels with room for 9,000 people at the service of the Madrid region, which has near half of Spain’s some 17,000 cases so far.
In London, home to almost 9 million, the government urged people to stay off public transportation as authorities considered imposing tougher travel restrictions.
The British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s reserved the first hour of shopping for vulnerable customers, one of many such efforts around the world.