Coronavirus cases, deaths surge in Italy

Conditions in Italy went from bad to worse this weekend as the Mediterranean country saw a huge leap in both the number of dead and infected with COVID-19.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that Italy’s death toll shot up by 368 fatalities in a 24 hour period, a larger one-day jump than any country has seen during the coronavirus pandemic thus far.

According to figures published by the World Health Organization, China set the previous worst day record in February with 254 deaths.

The grim surge brought overall Italian coronavirus deaths to 1,809. What’s more, Fox News reported that 3,500 new cases were confirmed during the same time period.

Dire situation in Italy

Since then, the situation has only grown more dire: by Tuesday afternoon, Italy was reporting 31,506 cases and 2,503 deaths.

The country’s government faced criticism for not reacting strongly enough during the early stages of the outbreak, forcing it to employ far more drastic measures later on.

Large sections of the nation are now under a military-enforced lock-down, with public gatherings, church services, and even funeral services being put on hold.

U.S. should act now

During a recent television appearance, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams held up Italy as the scenario that America needs to avoid. “We are at a critical inflection point in our country,” Adams said to the hosts of “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning, adding that the United States is in the same place Italy was “2 weeks ago.”

“We have a choice to make as a nation: Do we want to go the direction of South Korea and really be aggressive and lower our mortality rates, or do we want to go the direction of Italy?”

South Korea has been lauded for the success it has had in aggressively testing people and enforcing a regime of social distancing.

“There’s every hope that we can be South Korea if people actually listened, if people actually were socially distanced, if people do the basic public health measures that we have been talking about all along, such as washing your hands, such as covering your cough and cleaning surfaces,” Adams said.

Read more about the coronavirus from the CDC here.

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