Italy on Thursday has hit a grim milestone, surpassing China for the largest number of coronavirus-related deaths, at 3,405.
Washington Post reported that the novel coronavirus continued to spread globally, with Italy announcing a record number of deaths Wednesday and Spain reporting a similarly alarming death-toll spike Thursday. New numbers out of Iran are also grim.
But news from China on Thursday may offer a glimmer of hope: The country reported no new locally transmitted cases the previous day for the first time since the outbreak began late last year.
Italy on Thursday hit a grim milestone, surpassing China for the largest number of coronavirus-related deaths, at 3405.
The virus has proved particularly deadly in Italy because the of the country’s large older population and its increasingly stressed health-care system, which is struggling in the hard-hit Lombardy region to care for the sick.
Though Italy has seen a slight deceleration in growth of cases, the death toll has been staggering — with more than 2,000 reported dead over the last week alone. On Thursday, Italy registered 427 deaths, the fifth day in a row in which its daily death toll surpassed 300.
China, where the virus first erupted, has reported a total death toll of 3,250. But it has been dealing with the virus for longer than Italy has, and it has seen twice as many cases.
Italy is particularly vulnerable to the outbreak because it has the world’s second-highest proportion of seniors, after Japan. Among Italy’s first 2,000 deaths, 87 percent were people 70 or older.
Italy has instituted a nationwide lockdown to slow the pace, but politicians in the north — citing data from cellphone companies — say people are still moving around more than they should.