In the last 24 hours, 812 people have died in Italy from the Chinese coronavirus, bringing the nation’s overall death toll to 11,591 as of Monday — an increase of 7.5 per cent in one day.
Newly released data from Italy’s Civil Protection reveals that the country’s death toll from the virus has risen from 10,779 to 11,591. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases has also risen from 97,689 to 101,739.
“We haven’t reached the peak and we haven’t passed it,” said the head of Italy’s Superior Health Institute, Silvio Brusaferro, according to a recent report by Reuters.
On Friday, Italy had seen its highest daily death toll yet, losing a total of 969 people in a single day.
While the Wuhan virus plagues the nation, most of the confirmed cases and deaths remain heavily concentrated in Italy’s northern Lombardy region.
Among the 812 people who have died in Italy from the Chinese coronavirus in the last 24 hours, 458 were from Lombardy, according to a report by La Repubblica.
Moreover, among the confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy, over 42,000 of them are from Lombardy.
During Monday’s press conference, the head of Italy’s Civil Protection, Angelo Borrelli, warned citizens that they will face “criminal consequences” if they are infected and leave their homes, putting others at risk, according to La Repubblica.
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Meanwhile, the south of Italy is now “preparing for the worst,” according to a report by Il Giornale.
“The new frontier of the epidemic is southern Italy, we must equip ourselves immediately,” said University of Milan professor and virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco.
“You have to prepare in time for the worst and the risk of a wave,” he added. “At the moment, the outbreaks in the south appear more restricted and the hope is to be able to improve control to prevent such centers of contagion from expanding further.”
According to Pregliasco, it is essential that Italy’s southern regions prepare for the worst, because in the north they have seen the virus appear to slowly decline, before it suddenly spikes again. So while the disease may not seem to be spreading rapidly the south, it could at any moment become a major problem.
The virologist added that Italy’s current quarantine measures will remain necessary for weeks, and that when the nation eventually does reopen, it should be carried out gradually.
When asked if there will be a second wave of the coronavirus in Italy, Pregliasco said that the possibility of that “cannot be excluded.”
“With these mitigation measures, we have taken the tip off the curve, but the virus will not disappear suddenly,” the professor said. “We must emphasize that the percentage increase in Lombardy seems to have stabilized.”
“Of course, the situation in Milan is a little worrying and that’s why it’s important not to give up,” he added. “While in Rome, where you consider the size of the city, the situation is delicate, but the blockade seems to be working.”
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