At least 100 Italian doctors have died from coronavirus

 

At least 100 doctors have died from coronavirus in Italy, the Italian Association of Doctors said Thursday.

Eighty of them worked in the north of Italy, the hardest-hit area of the country.

As of Wednesday, 13,522 health workers have been infected in Italy, according to the Italian Institute of Health.

“We have seen unprecedented levels of overwork by nurses, particularly those specialized in intensive care units, those in management or those most directly involved in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, oftentimes without adequate time for rest and recuperation, without support and assistance, with limited considerations for their mental health and well-being.” said Giorgio Cometto, the coordinator of Human Resources for Health Policies and Standards at WHO’s Health Workforce Department.

As Italy enters its eight week of restrictions, it has the highest death toll in the world, with at least 17,669 deaths, Johns Hopkins University.

The number of active coronavirus cases in Italy reached 95,262 on Wednesday, with 3,693 people in intensive care units. It is the fifth day in a row that the intensive care unit numbers have fallen, with 99 fewer patients than the day before.

China responded to criticism of its handling of coronavirus Thursday, as the situation worsens in the US.

“Smearing and accusations won’t get rid of the virus,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian at a press conference in Beijing Thursday. “We hope to see the American people win its fight against the outbreak as early as possible.”

Some background: The US and China are fighting to shape the narrative about the pandemic’s origins.

Trump and senior members of the administration, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have attempted to brand the outbreak as the result of a “Chinese virus” as they ramp up accusations that Beijing failed to identify, stop or warn about the virus early on.

Zhao refrained from naming Pompeo or Trump in his rebuke, added that “we hope that the American people will reject certain politicians’ actions to politicize the pandemic, stigmatize China, shift public attention and deflect blame.”

 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Americans have the potential to take summer vacations — if we continue with mitigation strategies to prevent a resurgence.

Speaking to CBS This Morning, Fauci was asked if he could envision a typical summer, filled with vacations, baseball games, weddings and family reunions.

“It can be in the cards,” he said.

But he warned:

“And I say that with some caution, because as I said, when we do that, when we pull back and try to open up the country, as we often use that terminology, we have to be prepared that when the infections start to rear their heads again that we have it in place a very aggressive and effective way to identify, isolate, contract trace and make sure we don’t have those spikes we have now. So the answer to your question is yes, if we do the things that we need to do to prevent the resurgence.”

Getting back to normal is not like a light switch that you turn on and off, Fauci said, adding it’ll be gradual and depend on where in the country you live.

“The bottom line of it all is, that what we see looking forward, it is very likely that we will progress towards the steps towards normalization as we get to the end of this thirty days. And I think that’s going to be a good time to look and see how quickly can we make that move to try and normalize. But hopefully, and hopefully, by the time we get to the summer we will have taken many steps in that direction,” he added.

When asked if Fauci would be taking a summer vacation, he laughed, “I don’t take vacations.”

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