Italy’s Health Care System Stressed Under Coronavirus; Models Show Europe Could Face Disease Surge In Coming Weeks

New York Times: Italy’s Health Care System Groans Under Coronavirus — a Warning to the World
“…In less than three weeks, the coronavirus has overloaded the health care system all over northern Italy. It has turned the hard hit Lombardy region into a grim glimpse of what awaits countries if they cannot slow the spread of the virus and ‘flatten the curve’ of new cases — allowing the sick to be treated without swamping the capacity of hospitals. If not, even hospitals in developed countries with the world’s best health care risk becoming triage wards, forcing ordinary doctors and nurses to make extraordinary decisions about who may live and who may die. Wealthy northern Italy is facing a version of that nightmare already…” (Horowitz, 3/12).

Reuters: Special Report: Italy and South Korea virus outbreaks reveal disparity in deaths and tactics
“In Italy, millions are locked down and more than 1,000 people have died from the coronavirus. In South Korea, hit by the disease at about the same time, only a few thousand are quarantined and 67 people have died. As the virus courses through the world, the story of two outbreaks illustrates a coming problem for countries now grappling with an explosion in cases…” (Parodi et al., 3/12).

Washington Post: Coronavirus curve shows much of Europe could face Italy-like surge within weeks
“Some of the world’s top experts tracking the spread of the coronavirus predict that in a matter of weeks, much of Europe could be facing a similar surge in cases that has locked down Italy, overwhelmed its hospitals in the north and brought the country of 60 million to a standstill. Mathematical models developed by epidemiologists to track the virus show a sharp trajectory of infections in Spain, Germany, France, and Britain. Spain, which declared a state of emergency on Friday, showed particularly concerning exponential growth, some experts said…” (Morris/Booth, 3/13).

Additional coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy is available from the Washington Post (2). Coverage of responses in other regions is available from various sources: Africa (CNN, Mother Jones), Latin America (Devex, The Guardian, Washington Post), and Asia & Pacific (U.S. News & World Report, Reuters).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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