The death toll in Italy from the novel coronavirus reached its highest level yet overnight Tuesday, despite draconian efforts to crack down on the spread of the virus.
Italian health officials said Wednesday that at least 475 people had died from COVID-19 in the country in a single day, The Hill reported. The announcement brought the nation’s death toll up to near 3,000 — close to that of China, where the pandemic is thought to have originated, according to Fox News.
Death toll in the thousands
Weeks after the pandemic first surfaced in China, Europe is now considered the top hotspot and Italy is the second most affected country in the world. As the world watches Italy in fear, the scene coming out of the country looks like something from a horror movie.
The death rate in Italy jumped to the highest level yet seen in any country on Tuesday, the British Guardian newspaper reported. The spike marked an alarming 19% increase in the country’s death toll compared to the day before, when 349 perished from the virus.
The outbreak is crushing Italy’s health care system, and there have been reports of doctors rationing life-saving care, sparing it for young people who are more likely to survive the illness. It has been said that most people recover from COVID-19 — a reassurance that is starting to ring hollower all the time, to be sure — and that only older people and those with serious health problems have to worry.
In the ravaged town of Bergamo, the crematories can’t work fast enough to keep up with deaths, as Breitbart notes, citing an Italian newspaper. Bergamo is located in the Lombardy region, the core of the Italian outbreak.
At least 349 people died Tuesday in Lombardy, the BBC reported. Italy now has at least 35,000 cases and counting, despite a two-week, nationwide quarantine that has introduced almost surreal restrictions on socializing, travel, business, and work.
COVID-19 ravages Europe
As the situation in Italy worsens, neighboring countries like France and Spain have begun imitating its lockdown procedures. But will it be enough?
Spain now has 623 deaths and nearly 14,000 cases, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. In France, there have been 148 deaths and some 9,000 cases.
All around the world, doors are slamming shut: Canada sealed its border this week, according to The Washington Post, as did the European Union, CNBC notes. President Donald Trump took the precaution of restricting travel between America and Europe earlier this month as the disease continued to fester there.
Amid the suffering and misery, there is a silver lining. Some 4,000 Italians have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tracker.
But with Italy on the brink of surpassing China, despite the lockdown, is America next?