In a disheartening reversal, the head of the Italy’s Civil Protection Agency reported Tuesday that 743 had died of the coronavirus—an increase after two days of declining numbers, according to Reuters.
- After its worst day on Saturday with 793 deaths, the country saw declines on Sunday with 650 and 602 on Monday.
- Total deaths in the country have now reached 6,820 of 69,176 confirmed cases, with a fatality percentage of 10% as compared to around 4% globally.
- Monday, when reporting the decline, the head of Italy’s national health institute Silvio Brusaferro cautioned it was too early to say if the downturn would continue, as it coincided with a decrease in testing.
Key Background: Italy’s death toll surpassed China’s last week, though, the numbers reported in the country have been questioned. Still, the lockdown in Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated, will be eased starting April 8, with travel restrictions in the rest of the Hubei province now lifted. Italy and its 60 million citizens have been in lockdown since March 6. Its hardest hit area remains the northern Lombardy region with 61% of the total deaths. It’s the most populous and affluent part of the country, with fears that its poorer southern region with its less equipped healthcare system could be impacted even worse.
Tangent: Europe and Italy are the current epicenters of the coronavirus globally, but according to the World Health Organization today, the United States could soon replace it, according to Reuters. In the past 24 hours, 85% of new cases have been reported from Europe and the U.S., with 40% of them coming from the U.S.