The coronavirus (COVID-19) arrived in Italy for the first time on January 30th. A Chinese couple in fact showed the symptoms and were tested positive for the swab, they were immediately hospitalized in isolation at the Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases. Luckily they were both declared recovered from COVID-19 on February 26th. So, how is life in Italy? Our correspondent, Alice Turiani reports from Milan. Read on for Coronavirus in Italy: An Inside Look at What’s Happening Now.
Unfortunately Italy’s worst fears came true on February 18th in Codogno, a small city in the Lombardy region, when an Italian man was admitted to ER with coronavirus symptoms having been infected by an asymptomatic carrier. As a result, the virus had swiftly infected several other people in the same and neighboring areas and they were soon quarantined in a ‘red zone’.
On February 23rd the Council of Ministers approved a first decree in order to isolate different cities and areas from getting affected by the contagion, limiting and prohibiting many activities.
As the situation continued to worsen and the infection spread, another decree was approved on 8th of March to lock down the entire region of Lombardy along with provinces of other regions.
On March 9th one more decree was signed by the Council of Ministers which announced a total countrywide lockdown meaning that everyone has to stay at home and not leave unless under exceptional circumstances.
The numbers in Italy to date, as of March 24th:
Total Cases: 63,927
Currently Tested Positive: 46,638
Among the 46,638 Tested Positive:
20,541 are in home isolation
21,601 are hospitalized with symptoms
4,496 are in intensive care
Despite Italy having one of the best health services in the world along with some of the best scientists and research centers, the health system is collapsing, ICU units as well as mortuaries are full to capacity.
Lombardy is the most affected region. The Province of Bergamo is the new ‘red zone’ with some 6,471 cases. The army is transporting all the Covid-19 victims’ coffins out of the city of Bergamo because there is simply no more space. See the video below.
Italian Sentiment Right Now
Our strength is our people. There is also good news, news that will restore faith in humanity. Medical and nursing students are asking to hasten graduation in order to be active in hospitals as soon as possible. Countless volunteers are offering to help everyone for everything; solidarity is one of our best qualities. Teachers are continuing to work teaching via video lessons and shifting online platforms.
We’re trying to keep our characteristic Italian spirit alive, we have learned to stay together yet keeping the required distance. We help each other by singing together outside windows and on balconies, we use social networks to communicate our gratitude to those who cannot stay home because they are busy in the wards. We’re doing our bit to boost morale.
So in a nutshell, yes it’s a tough time in Italy right now, but we’re holding on. For now, staying home and respecting hygiene and safety guidelines must be followed.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be aware, that the United Kingdom, as of Monday, March 23rd is officially on total lockdown – see video announcement from Prime Minister, Boris Johnson below: