Italy’s collapsing health system: Shocking pictures show patients on ventilators lying on field stretchers in hospital corridors as country battles Covid second wave
- Shocking photographs show a hospital under pressure in Piedmont, Italy
- One hospital is treating patients on stretchers placed along the corridor
- The Italian government has passed a new aid package to help business
- Italy is divided into three zones depending on the size of the Covid outbreak
Italy has registered 39,811 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Saturday, the country’s highest ever daily tally and up from 37,809 on Friday.
In some hospitals, patients are being given oxygen lying on stretchers on corridors as the country runs out of beds.
The ministry also reported 425 COVID-19 related deaths, down from 446 the day before.
These are the tragic scenes as coronavirus patients in Italy are being treated on stretchers in a corridor of an over-crowded hospital
Italy today reported almost 40,000 new coronavirus infections as the country is gripped by a
Italian health authorities have reported more than 800 deaths over the past 48 hours
A total of 41,063 people have now died because of COVID-19 in Italy, which has registered some 902,490 coronavirus infections since the start of its outbreak.
The northern region of Lombardy, centred on Italy’s business capital Milan, remained the hardest hit area, reporting 11,489 new cases on Saturday against 9,934 on Friday.
The neighbouring Piedmont region was the second-worst affected, chalking up 4,437 cases versus 4,878 the day before.
Italy has approved a new aid package to cushion the blow to the economy from restrictions it introduced earlier this week in an effort to stem a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The measures agreed by cabinet overnight are worth 2.9 billion euros ($3.4 billion), a person with knowledge of the matter said.
Coronavirus curbs which came into force on Friday divide the country into three zones according to the severity of the latest outbreak.
The limitations are less severe than the nationwide lockdown Rome imposed when the coronavirus first took hold in March, but many shops have been shut in the highest-risk zones such as Milan’s Lombardy region, where people can only leave their homes for work, health reasons or emergencies.
The package delays to the spring tax payments due in November and increases transfers to businesses operating in regions classed as ‘red’ or ‘orange’ which have been hit by the strictest limitations.
‘We have increased compensations because we realised that what was granted for the spring lockdown wasn’t enough,’ Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told Corriere della Sera daily in an interview. ‘We’ve also widened the number of beneficiaries.’
The package provides funds for childcare or work leave for parents who are not able to work from home, after the government moved classes online for high schools and the last two years of middle school.
Conte said funds had also been set aside for regions that could turn into high-risk zones under the current system, which has been attacked by some politicians in the worst-hit areas.
‘There’s no turning back. The alternative is to shut down the entire country causing enormous damage. It would not be a case of ‘a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved’, just disaster for everyone,’ Conte said.