Italy Coronavirus Updates Not Slowing Down as the Outbreak Continues to Wreak Havoc
Italy currently has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Europe as well as outside the epicenter, China. As a popular tourist destination with an already dense population, the coronavirus outbreak rapidly spread exponentially from two Chinese tourists who were confirmed to have the sickness. Underestimating the risk an outbreak posed, Italy soon became overwhelmed with the hundreds of thousand cases. Then, Italy closes all schools, cancels all public gatherings, and orders a nationwide lockdown to try to get the upper hand on containing the sickness.
Italy’s Nationwide Lockdown
The two initial cases in Italy were confirmed on January 30, but the outbreak didn’t occur until February 21 with 20 confirmed cases. Italy ordered school and university closures on March 4 and then a nationwide lockdown on March 10 to slow the spread, but nearly three weeks later, Italy had 59,138 cases with a total of 5,476 deaths with 800 of those deaths happening in a single day.
With this steep increase, soldiers were drafted to enforce the lockdown as hospitals in the most affected regions struggle to handle the thousands of cases. Operating close to a breaking point, inundated hospitals have had to send their most dire cases to hospitals in other regions as ICUs overflow. And despite working around the clock, there seems to be no end in sight for Italy coronavirus updates as the body count continues to rise.
Travel Bans to Italy
One day after confirming the first two cases of COVID-19, Italy temporarily ceased all air travel to and from China. Amidst the chaos of treating Italian cases of the coronavirus, international airlines announced their own travel bans to Italy. Travelers who do enter the country are subject to temperature screening at all main Italian airports and must self-isolate for 14 days. The government has also recently resorted to also banning domestic travel in an attempt to combat the spread.
The rapid spread of the coronavirus in Italy could be explained in part due to increased air travel with China. Italy signed a memorandum of understanding in early January in China to expand air connections to foster more tourism between the two countries with flights tripling this year. With Italy’s prosperous tourism industry, the country is a hot zone for an outbreak as well as a hub for the thousands of travelers who quickly spread the sickness around the world.
Italy’s Prognosis for the COVID-19 Outbreak
With 60 million people in Italy under full lockdown and hospitals working non-stop to identify and treat coronavirus cases, there is hope to flatten the curve. However, the growing number of confirmed cases around the world poses a risk of another wave of the coronavirus. Even though the original source of COVID-19 in the Hubei province is slowly lifting its restrictions, countries like Italy and the US show the unpreparedness governments have to combat a pandemic.
It seems that without strict regimes put in place, defeating the coronavirus pandemic will take much longer furthering its impact on society and the economy.