Italian officials said 250 people have died from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, marking a record number of deaths from the illness within such a time-span. The Italian Civil Protection Agency reported the increase Friday, which raised the country’s death toll from coronavirus to 1,266 people, according to The Associated Press. The spike in cases has shifted the focus on the outbreak from China to Europe. “More cases are now being reported every day [in Europe] than were being reported by China at the height of its epidemic,” World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. He also called the reported 5,000 deaths worldwide a “tragic milestone.”
“Do not let this fire burn,” he said calling for social distancing. “Isolate the sick.” The record number of deaths comes just days after Italy reported nearly 200 deaths in a 24-hour period. Scientists have not yet found a vaccine for COVID-19, which WHO officially characterized as a pandemic on early Wednesday. “In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of Covid-19 cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher,” Tedros said Wednesday. As of Friday afternoon, 1,875 people in the U.S. had tested positive for the coronavirus. Public health officials have estimated that thousands of people likely have the virus but don’t know it, partly due to the lack of testing. –The Hill
How bad is it? The Italian doctors interviewed are wearing dusk masks, which offer no protection from SARS-CoV-2. N95 masks (the only safe protection from the virus) are almost non-existent in Italy. 641 Italian health-care workers have already been infected.
Bleak Prognosis: A nurse in northern Italy said that fighting the virus was like being in the middle of “a world war.” Hospitals like this one in Brescia are packed as Italy battles the scourge, which earlier this week took the life of Dr. Roberto Stella, 67, the head of a medical association in a region heavily hit by the virus. –NY Post
Containment measures are too late: So, Western governments may be adapting a freakish experimental strategy: Let it spread – Are governments using a herd immunity tactic to save healthcare systems? Is this also why American authorities are telling its citizens not to wear face masks?
Governments now playing Russian roulette with human lives?
Colorado woman in Italy warns Americans: From her home in Garda, Italy, Shannon Unks, a CU graduate and former Colorado resident, has a harsh warning for Colorado residents: “Don’t do anything- don’t go to the cinemas, stay home, shut it down.” As of Friday afternoon, there were one death and 77 cases of coronavirus in Colorado. Via Skype, Unks told CBS4 she hoped her warning of what is happening in Italy would resonate with U.S. and Colorado residents and prompt them to follow the advice of medical authorities and dramatically change their daily living patterns for the near term.
“What you need to do is stay home. Do not look at this two weeks as a vacation. You need to stay home,” urged Unks. She and her family live in the picturesque town of Garda, not far from Verona. But outside of China, Italy is the country hardest hit by COVID-19 with 1,016 deaths and more than 17,000 infections. Garda is “locked down,” said Unks, with residents prohibited from going out unless it is to buy groceries or other essentials like medications. “We’re allowed to go to the grocery store. One person per family. Get in and get out.” She said customers enter the store one at a time and stand about three feet apart while waiting in line. The outbreak has overwhelmed Italian hospitals which don’t have enough beds, equipment or personnel to handle the volume of coronavirus patients. “Funerals are forbidden,” said Unks. “Churches are closed and they don’t know where to put the bodies.”
It’s already out of control: “It’s a massive overload,” said Unks. “They have triage tents outside hospitals so if you and I walk in together, they decide: ‘Is Brian going to live or Shannon going to live?’ They pick the one most likely to live. They have to pick the person they think is going to survive the most. They do not have enough beds, respirators, not enough personnel to care for everyone.” So, Italians are confined to their homes and Unks said Coloradans need to view what is happening in Italy as a glimpse of what might lie ahead for the U.S. if people don’t curtail their outside activities. “Your healthcare system, as good as it is, is going to be overloaded.” American medical officials have voiced similar concerns- that an influx of coronavirus cases could overwhelm U.S. hospitals and healthcare workers. –CBS