In Italy, the deadly coronavirus has brought life to a standstill — but there’s a glimmer of hope.
Some 1,200 of those infected have since recovered from the disease, according to media reports. Italy is on a nationwide lockdown as the country faces massive disruptions to daily life from COVID-19, which has killed more than 1,000 and infected over 15,000 there, according to Haaretz.
More than 1,000 cured
More than 100,000 people around the world have been infected with COVID-19, which now has claimed well over 4,000 lives, according to NPR. As the world struggles to fight a new global pandemic, many are looking anxiously to Italy for signs of what may soon come to their homelands.
The country is the site of the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the West and the second-worst in the entire world. There are now over 1,000 deaths as of Thursday after a 23% increase in just a single day, Reuters reported. But while the situation is grim, more than 1,200 have recovered from the virus as of Thursday, up from 1,045 the day before.
The nation’s government ordered all bars and restaurants, and all shops other than pharmacies and food marts, to be closed Wednesday as the death toll kept surging, according to CNBC. Italy initially placed regions in the north on lockdown, then expanded those restrictions to the rest of the country. Those caught violating the restrictions face fines or jail time, Fox News reports.
“Italy was the first nation in Europe to be affected so badly,” Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio told the BBC. “But I hope it also means that Italy is the first one to leave the emergency behind.
“Our grandfathers were drafted to go to war; we’re being asked to stay at home,” Di Maio continued. “If a doctor and a nurse can work for 24 hours non-stop, we can give up leaving our own home. The huge majority of citizens are respecting the rules. Those who aren’t will face sanctions: either fines or criminal charges.”
The world is watching
Around the world, nearly 70,000 people have recovered from the virus, The Hill reported, citing data from Johns Hopkins University. In America, eight have recovered. Meanwhile, the United States has over 1,200 open cases and 36 deaths recorded so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The virus has exploded in just a couple of weeks.
As schools close and a cascade of public events are cancelled, some say that life in America is already beginning to change in eerie echoes of what’s happening abroad. The Trump administration has consistently told Americans not to panic, but top officials in the government, like Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Health, have issued some sobering warnings.
“That is a failing. Let’s admit it,” Fauci said of the government’s pace of coronavirus testing on Thursday, according to NBC News.
The pandemic has presented President Donald Trump with a profound challenge. In a tone shift, the president solemnly addressed the nation Wednesday night to announce that he will restrict travel for most people between America and 26 European countries for 30 days starting on Friday night, ABC News reported. Europe is now considered the worst hotspot in the world — and, as the virus spread winds down in China, the epicenter of the pandemic.
Indeed, as Italy suffers, the question on many minds in America and around the world is: are we next?