Just as Italians were beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, officials reported another spike in coronavirus infections.
Authorities on Saturday confirmed 6,557 new cases with 793 deaths in 24 hours.
Overall, Italy has reported 53,578 cases, 4,825 deaths, and 5,129 recoveries. There are roughly 2,655 patients in intensive care.
“Many of the elderly are dying in their houses or in old people’s homes, without anyone testing them either before or after they die,” says Bergamo Mayor Giorgio Gori, adding that the true death toll is probably four times higher than what has been reported.
Italy implemented a nationwide quarantine on March 9th in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Last week, as Italy’s totals eclipsed those in China, authorities banned residents from outdoor exercises including running and biking.
The Italian military has been dispatched to Milan to enforce the quarantine measures. Nearly 10,000 people left their homes in violation of the lockdown on Friday.
As reported Sunday, the United States has the third-highest number of COVID-19 cases with an estimated 27,200. The state of New York last week reported 7,500 cases, making it the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States.
“I hate to say this, but it’s true: We are now the epicenter of this crisis,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. On Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order directing all non-essential businesses in the state to close.
This week, NYU forced its students to move out of their dorms in case the state needs to use the beds for COVID-19 patients. There will also be a hospital ship stationed in New York Harbor to increase hospital capacity amid the crisis.
Author’s Note: The situation in the United States would be much worse had President Trump not acted so quickly to ban travel from China.