Written byShalini Ojha ·
Italy witnessed the biggest rise in death toll due to coronavirus on Wednesday, as 475 people died of the deadly COVID-19 disease. The total number of fatalities stands at 2,978, and 35,713 have been infected.
At this pace, Italy might, unfortunately, surpass China's number, where 3,245 have died since December when the outbreak was first reported.
Here's everything you need to know.
After China, Italy has been the worst-affected nation, with the situation taking a catastrophic turn this month, and worsening over the days.
The entire country is in lockdown with all stores, except pharmacies and supermarkets working.
With sweeping restrictions, Italy hopes to minimize damage, but experts say the announcements came late. Had it been announced earlier, Italy would have managed to "flatten the curve".
The pandemic has strained Italy's healthcare, and this week China extended help.
Specialist doctors, who have the first-hand experience of dealing with the virus, and some medical equipment arrived in Italy.
"Our doctors don't need anyone to teach them their job, but the Chinese doctors were the first [to treat the virus] and they can bring their experience," Italian Minister Luigi Di Maio said.
This is the worst crisis to hit Italy since World War II, and all the citizens are hoping is for the nightmare to end.
The major cities of the European nation have turned into ghost towns, with empty roads, and deserted eateries.
In the northern part, where coronavirus has ripped everything apart, dead bodies are being stacked up as funeral services are prohibited.
Quite similar to the number of deceased, the pressure on health officials is also not slowing down. The doctors and nurses, working round-the-clock, are contracting infection due to lack of precaution in a harried environment.
Over 2,000 are undergoing treatment at intensive care units, forcing doctors to take the call on whom to treat and whom to leave.
This happens during a war.
The lockdown has been in place for days but the rise in death toll shows its benefits are yet to make landfall.
Dr. Giorgio Palù, a professor of virology and microbiology of the University of Padova, said, "Yesterday we expected to have change after almost 10 days of this new measure ... but it's still rising."
A more wider lockdown could have helped, he said.
"We should have done more diagnostic tests in Lombardy where there was a big nucleus. There is no sense in trying to go to the supermarket once a week. You have to limit your time out, isolation is the key thing," he told CNN.
Palù said the Italian government was lazy in the beginning and didn't take up the proposal of isolating people coming from China. "It became seen as racist, but they were people coming from the outbreak," he pointed out.
Separately, Dr. Alessandro Grimaldi, director of infectious disease at Salvatore Hospital in L'Aquila, told the daily that the healthcare system has collapsed in Lombardy.
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