Italy Breaks Worldwide Coronavirus Record

Despite having all 60M people on lockdown
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2020 1:31 PM CDT
Italy Breaks Worldwide Coronavirus Record
Medical personnel at work in the intensive care unit of the hospital of Brescia, Italy, Thursday, March 19, 2020.   (Claudio Furlan/LaPresse via AP)

More bad news for Italy: Its coronavirus death toll is now higher than China's, according to Italian officials. After a record 427 deaths Wednesday, the nation has lost 3,405 people, topping China's tally of 3,245, USA Today reports. Italy is still reeling under the effects of the outbreak despite having its entire population on lockdown, police scouring the streets, and health officials trying to recruit retired doctors and medical graduate students to help out. "It's so frightening. I keep worrying they aren’t telling us everything. If they are, then why do so many people keep dying?" says a 30-year-old woman in Rome. "I feel fine. I keep telling myself that so I'll stay calm. But I'm worried."

Experts are still mulling the reasons behind Italy's death toll, but it does have a high median age and a lot of interaction between younger and older people. "The death toll is rising from people who were infected before the national lockdown" on March 9, says the head of Italy's Civil Protection Department. "We still believe that once we are 14 days out from the lockdown we will begin to see a significant drop in the death toll." The Wall Street Journal calls Italy's death toll "especially grim" because the country's number of confirmed infections, at 35,713, is far lower than China's 80,928. USA Today reports that "America's trajectory is trending toward Italy's," although the US death toll remains relatively low so far at 160. (More coronavirus stories.)

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