919 deaths in a day! Why is Italy failing to contain COVID-19? What does it tell to other countries?
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919 deaths in a day! Why is Italy failing to contain COVID-19 and what does that tell to other countries?
While the USA has emerged out as a new epicenter of the world with more than 104,000 confirmed cases, Italy still has the largest number of deaths. Rightfully so, on March 27, 2020, Italy is recorded to have surpassed more than 86,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with over 9,000 deaths. Despite being one of the highest economic countries, Italy is meeting with a shortage of supplies and much more due to the onset of COVID-19. Its first case was reported on Feb 20, 2020. By this time, China had already surpassed 2,236 deaths with a huge number of confirmed cases. And now while China has stabilized the situation to some level, Italy is still struggling. And while the death rates have been increasing in Italy since then, it was on March 24, 2020, that Italy reported having the highest death rate of 793 deaths, taking the world by shock and making one realize just how disastrous novel coronavirus disease could be. It doesn’t stop there; as of March 27, 2020, Italy is in shambles with 919 deaths in a single day.
Bodies are being buried with no funeral or the last goodbye to their loved ones. Fear is looming nationwide while doctors are feeling helpless and falling sick. Shortage of space, hospitals, staff, beds, and clinical equipment are putting a hindrance in the treatment. Ships, empty buildings are being converted into quarantine rooms. The death rate as shown is only getting worse every day, despite all the efforts with Italy put under lockdown.
Italy is not fighting this battle alone either; several countries are helping them in trying to stabilize the delirious situation. While prayers are being sent to them from all over the world, generous countries are not stepping away from sending the much-needed support their way. The Chinese government is helping with equipment like ventilators while the Russians are quick to help with medical supplies, and Americans are posing themselves on the front lines. With all the help, Italy is receiving, it is still unable to stabilize the situation. Here are a few reasons why Italy is failing in its mission despite the full effort.
· Older nation- Italy has one of the oldest populations. Coronavirus infection is more susceptible to those that are old for many reasons. As the people grow older, their immune system works less efficiently and it falls short in protecting the body fully. It must also be noted that with old age comes problems such as asthma, weak lungs, and other respiratory disorders that cause problems with breathing and other functions of the lungs. And while coronavirus is in itself deathly in its attack, coupled with other respiratory issues, it only accelerates the infection and in extreme cases, causes death. Among the reported deaths, the National Health Institute of Italy conveys that the average age of most of the patients has been 81 or at least above 65, amongst the dead.
· Lack of preparation- Despite the vast report of cases in China, many countries have been rather chilled out in their approach to Coronavirus, mainly because there were few to none. So, when the disease hit Italy, it has been unprepared for the ordeal. Reports also suggest that by the time Italy was aware of the rather precarious situation, the infection has already spread in Italy, especially in the region of Lombardy. However, a month before the first case was reported, the Italian Health Ministry created a task force to manage coronavirus and banned flights to and from China. But it was probably too late.
Even so, Italy continued with its everyday trek of life, never breaking the bridge of the economy despite precautionary measures ordered to be followed. And the cases seemed to spiral with the absence of firmer steps from the government. Social distancing was shown to be useless due to the lack of co-operation from the citizens. It wasn’t until the 9th of March that the lockdown was finally ordered. By that time, coronavirus infection could have reached the 3rd stage in its spread.
Governments from other countries like China also say that the government was rather lenient and, in some ways, too late in its approach.
· Lack of co-operation from citizens- The major reason why Italy is facing a rather disastrous situation is because of the ignorance and lack of compliance from the citizens. Precautionary measures, social distancing, as well as lockdown lodged by government, was—is being followed very little. Social media posts were blooming with the pictures of get-togethers, parties, and dinners. Financial meetings were held the same way. People gave little to no attention to precautionary guidelines. Traveling and partying were never put to halt until then. Citizens’ lack of co-operation is why there is the worst rate of deaths and cases now in Italy which is not reversible. It needed thousands of deaths in Italy to show to its citizens just how serious the matter is. People forget that there is no ‘cure’ for this deadly disease currently and that prevention is the only effective way.
· Shortage of supplies, space and staff- As mentioned earlier, people from other countries are trying their best to help Italy with several medical equipment. But with the increased rate of deaths and cases, it is seemingly difficult to cater to all the patients’ needs. The biggest challenge is the quarantine of patients. Each patient might take days to recover from the disease and in the meantime, more patients fill the hospital space and stay occupied for days again. And every day around 4000-5000 patients are being registered with previous space still occupied by other patients. So, the matter seems to grow out of control and there’s barely anymore way to take control of it…except to wait on cure or vaccines which is a long shot.
While some countries are seemingly safe at the moment with few cases and tragic deaths, the other countries like Spain, Germany, the UK, and the USA are quickly falling in the same predicament despite many efforts to stop it. Lockdown of citizens and quarantine of infected patients is currently the only way to cure the patients, all over the world. It needs to be understood that as long as people don’t co-operate, they are not only putting their own life in danger but also others’. The infected countries which currently stand at 198, must take measures to avoid such a situation, especially given that most of the countries fall under either under-developed or developing nations. If COVID-19 spirals out of control in such countries, it’d be a disaster of the century, to say the least. Government alone, however, cannot fully control the situation, it’s the citizens that play the main role.
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