Italy's coronavirus death toll shoots past 10,000

Latest News

Italy's coronavirus death toll shoots past 10,000

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


ROME, Italy (AFP)Italy's world-topping coronavirus death toll shot past 10,000 on Saturday and showed few sign of slowing down.

The 889 new fatalities reported by the civil protection service came a day after the nation of 60 million registered a world record 969 deaths on Friday.

Its toll from the past three days alone reached 2,520 -- higher than the total number of deaths in either the United States or France.

Italians began to experience hope when their daily death and infection rates began to slow on March 22.

The sudden new surge is offset -- if only slightly -- by rare positive news from the pandemic's epicentre in northern Lombardy region around Milan.

Official figures showed the number of people receiving intensive care treatment in the region's hospitals barely changed from Friday.

"Our hospitals are starting to breathe," Lombardy's chief medical officer Giulio Gallera said.

"Little by little, they are starting to breathe again."

EUROPEAN BICKERING

The once-in-a-century pandemic has triggered a huge row among European leaders about how best to respond.

The nations most hit by the pandemic are urging the European Union to abandon its policy of keeping within tight budget constraints.

The bloc has already untied its purse strings in ways not seen since the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte argues that this is not enough.

France is backing a push by Italy and Spain for the EU to start issuing "corona bonds" -- a form of common debt that governments sell on markets to raise money and address individual economic needs.

More spendthrift nations such as Germany and the Netherlands are balking at the idea of joint debt.

Conte said he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had "not just a disagreement but a hard a frank confrontation" on Thursday about how to proceed.

"If Europe does not rise to this unprecedented challenge, the whole European structure loses its raison d'etre (reason for existing) to the people," Conte told Saturday's edition of the Il Sole 24 Ore financial newspaper.

'DIFFERENT FROM 2008'

The entire eurozone is expected to slip into a recession over the coming months.

But Italy is facing the threat of a near economic collapse after being the first European country to shutter almost all its businesses on March 12.

Some forecastssuggest that its economy -- the third-largest among nations that use the euro common currency -- could contract by as much as seven percent this year.

It shrank by 5.3 percent of gross domestic product in 2009.

Conte warned that EU leaders were in danger of making "tragic mistakes" that "leave our children the immense burden of a devastated economy."

"I represent a country that is suffering a lot and I cannot afford to procrastinate," Conte said.

The energetic 55-year-old has seen his popularity shoot up thanks to a general sense that he was doing all he could to help the country through its worst crisis since World War II.

A growing number of medics are warning that Italy's fatalities could be much higher because retirement homes often do not report all their COVID-19 deaths.

The number of people who have died from the new disease at home is unknown.

"This is something very different from the 2008 crisis," Conte said.

"We are at a critical point in European history."


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT