When the virus re-emerges, Milan hospitals are under pressure again

MILAN (AP) – Corona virus outbreak is on the rise again in the region of northern Italy, where the epidemic first struck Europe, renewing pressure on hospitals and health workers.

At Milan’s San Paulo Hospital, a ward dedicated to COVID – 19 patients and reopened breathing machines over the weekend are a sign that the city and the surrounding Lombardy region are entering another emergency phase of the epidemic.

Italy’s worst-affected area in the spring, when Italy spent weeks with the world’s highest number of virus-related deaths before crossing the United States. For paramedics in Lombardy who fought the virus for the first time, a long-awaited recovery came very soon.

“On a psychological level, I have to say I have not yet recovered,” said nurse Christina Setembrize, noting that in March and April one-third of Italy’s confirmed carna virus cases and almost half of Italy’s COVID were in the area. 19 deaths.

“Over the past five days, I see many people admitted to the hospital in need of respiratory support,” Settembries said. “With the difference that the virus is less lethal, I release the dream.”

A few months after Italy relaxed one of the world’s toughest locks, the country on Wednesday recorded its highest daily number of 7,332 – higher than the previous 6,557 recorded at the most dangerous stage of the virus in March.

Lombardy leads the country again in the number of cases, echoing the shocking spring months when ambulance sirens pierced the silence of stilt cities.

The Italian government is keen to avoid another nationwide lockout to protect the country’s economy, but has not refused to close cities or provinces.

Increased testing is partly due to the recent case high numbers, and many individuals who test positive are asymptomatic. So far, Italy’s daily COVID-19 mortality figures are significantly below spring height, which has been hovering around 40 in recent days. This compares with 969 deaths recorded in a single day at the end of March.

In response to the current explosion, the government of Premier Giuseppe Conte tightened restrictions nationwide twice a week. Beginning Thursday, Italians will be banned from playing casual pick-up games, bars and restaurants will face a midnight curfew order, and private celebrations in public places will be banned. Masks are mandatory as of last week.

But there is growing concern among doctors that Italy has squandered profits made during its 10-week lockout and has not moved quickly to reconsider restrictions. Concerns continue that rising stress in hospitals will force planned surgeries and screenings to be postponed – creating a parallel health emergency as happened in the spring.

Italy is not the only European country to see a resurgence of confirmed virus cases. French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday that 18 million people living in nine regions of France, including Paris, would issue a curfew from Saturday to December 1 in a bid to prevent new infections.

Macron also re-established a nationwide health emergency that ended three months ago. There are a total of 798,000 confirmed cases and nearly 33,000 deaths in France, while COVID-19 patients occupy one-third of the intensive care unit beds nationwide.

“We don’t go to restaurants after 9pm, we don’t see friends, we don’t party because that’s what transmits the virus,” Macron said in a television interview.

Italy is far better than its neighbors at this time. Italy’s cases per 100,000 residents have risen to nearly 87 in the past two weeks – 300 to 500 per 100,000 more than countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain and the United Kingdom. Those countries have also begun to impose new restrictions.

This time, Milan accounted for half of Lombardy’s daily cases, surpassing 1,800 on Wednesday. Bergamo – which was severely damaged last time and was seen in the collective memory by pictures of military trucks carrying the dead to cremation – was just 46.

Waking up to the cold weather has so far been so strongly linked to holidays at home and abroad that Italians flocked to beaches and crowded islands.

“Locking is a treasure, we wiped it out together with great effort and great sacrifice. In some ways we may lose the results of a summer that was irresponsible,” Massimo Galli, director of the epidemiological ward at Sacco Hospital in Milan, told the Associated Press. Not between us. ”

His hospital is on the front line of infection, but he declined to say how many beds have been occupied with corona virus patients.

Dr. Anna Carla Posey, a family physician in the suburbs of Milan, said she feared the public’s response to the virus’ resurgence would weaken fatigue. This creates a similar situation in January and February, when the virus spreads undetected in Italy and nothing is done, he said.

Posey finds his own patients acting in a surprising way: some advise him to come to his office only with an appointment. A high school student on Tuesday called a doctor seeking a medical certificate to go to school, claiming he had spent a week at home recovering from flu-like symptoms.

“It’s great that you feel better,” Posey told the student, who told her that the girl should be tested for the virus before returning to class.

The doctor was pleasantly surprised to find that the patient could be booked for the next day’s examination – something unheard of in winter and spring.

The test helps Italy stay on top of the curve. On Wednesday, at least 100 cars were lined up for an on-demand drive-through test at San Paulo Hospital, where Settembres works.

Dr. Guido Marinoni, president of the Association of General Practitioners in Bergamo, where 6,000 people die in a month, said the provincial people are afraid enough of what happened in the spring to follow the rules. But that is not the case in Lombardy or any other part of the country.

“Six thousand a month. You know how many people died in the five years since the Milan bombing during World War II, it was a lot of targeting: 2,000, ”said Dr. Marino. “Worrying to see in other areas is the nightlife, the people gathered at the bar and the party. It’s very dangerous.”


Associated Press journalist Luca Bruno contributed to the report.


The story has also been updated to correct the fact that the average daily death toll across the country is not 40, not 50, and that cars were lined up for a drive-through test on Wednesday, not Thursday at San Paulo Hospital.

Harold Manning

"Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover."

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